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March 28 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • Discussion

“Nothing wasted.” The Real PD James

Frances Fyfield in conversation with Geraldine Perriam


Park Inn Palace Hotel, Church Road
Southend-on-Sea, SS1 2AL
£5 (27 yrs and under)

Box Office:

Mercury Theatre
01206 573948

PD James


PD James once said:
“Open your mind to new experiences, particularly to the study of other people. Nothing that happens to a writer – however happy, however tragic – is ever wasted.”

Frances Fyfield, fellow writer and friend of PD James, will be in discussion with Geraldine Perriam, exploring the life and work of the late author.

2020 marks the centenary of the birth of crime writer, PD James. Come along to hear Frances and Geraldine discuss the life and work of this inspiring lady and the lasting legacy of her books.

This event is part of Essex Book Festival’s Golden Age of Crime Weekend, taking place at the Park Inn Palace Hotel in Southend-on-Sea on 28 and 29 March.

Frances Fyfield

Frances Fyfield spent some of her professional life as a criminal lawyer, work which has informed many of her twenty four novels. She is also a collector of British paintings, which along with the sea, has inspired her storytelling. She has been the recipient of the gold and silver crime writers Association Daggers, and lives in London, surrounded by paintings, and in Deal, surrounded by sea.

In her own words…

I grew up in rural Derbyshire, but my adult life has been spent mostly in London, with long intervals in Norfolk and Deal, all inspiring places. I was educated mostly in convent schools; then studied English and went on to qualify as a solicitor, working for what is now the Crown Prosecution Service, thus learning a bit about murder at second hand. Years later, writing became the real vocation, although the law and its ramifications still haunt me and inform many of my novels.

I’m a novelist, short story writer for magazines and radio, sometime Radio 4 contributor, (Front Row, Quote Unquote, Night Waves,) and presenter of Tales from the Stave. When I’m not working (which is as often as possible), I can be found in the nearest junk/charity shop or auction, looking for the kind of paintings which enhance my life. Otherwise, with a bit of luck, I’m relaxing by the sea with a bottle of wine and a friend or two.


Geraldine Perriam

Dr Geraldine Perriam is an Honorary Research Associate at the University of Glasgow. She has worked in education for over thirty years and has also worked in the private sector. Much of her research centres on gender: women’s public and domestic lives, mental health and wellbeing and fiction written by women. She is a feminist geographer, has worked in primary and higher education, the IT industry and educational management and policy development. She has taught research methods to undergraduate and postgraduate students.  Geraldine is Vice Chair of the Dorothy L Sayers Society.




Park Inn Palace Hotel
Church Road
Southend-on-Sea, SS1 2AL
+ Google Map
01702 455155

Hearing Loop:

Park Inn Palace currently has no hearing loop systems installed. Essex Book Festival has a mobile Roger Pen hearing loop system, which needs to be booked by individuals in advance at least three days before the event. If you would like to use the Roger Pen email [email protected]