Dickinson, Peter

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Dickinson, Peter

Peter Dickinson (Peter Malcolm de Brissac Dickinson), 1927–2015, b. Livingstone, Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). The son of a civil servant, he returned to England (1935) with his family and attended King's College, Cambridge (B.A., 1951) and was an editor at Punch (1951–69) before beginning his career as a novelist. He wrote more than 50 novels, including crime fiction for adults and fantasy and adventure mysteries for children and young adults, and poetry. His first adult novel, Skin Deep (1968, U.S. title The Glass-Sided Ants' Nest), was a mystery featuring James Pibble of Scotland Yard. It and A Pride of Heroes (1969, U.S. title The Old English Peep Show) both won the Crime Writers' Association award for best mystery of the year. Among his children's books, the "Changes" trilogy, comprising The Weathermonger (1968), Heartsease (1969), and The Devil's Children (1970), featured a dystopian future in which Britain was plunged back into the Dark Ages. Tulku (1979) and City of Gold and Other Stories from the Old Testament (1980) won the British Carnegie Medal for the year's best book for children. Dickinson was knighted in 2009.

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