Pamela Hansford Johnson: Her Life, Works and Times

Pamela Hansford Johnson: Her Life, Works and Times

by Wendy Pollard


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This first biography of Pamela Hansford Johnson (1912–1981) has been written with the full co-operation of her three children, who allowed Wendy Pollard access to previously unexamined diaries, letters, and much other material, illuminating their mother’s eventful and often entertaining life. Pamela Hansford Johnson’s achievements were all the more remarkable because of her lack of formal education after the age of 16. With no literary contacts to ease her path, she nevertheless quickly established herself first as a poet, then as a prolific short story writer, and, after the publication of her first novel, she was able to support herself and her mother on the income from her writing and reviewing. Her private life was full of incident, the earliest being a turbulent youthful romance with Dylan Thomas. Her first marriage was to an Australian journalist, and she subsequently married the novelist and scientist, C. P. (later Lord) Snow. The Snows formed a celebrated literary partnership, traveling widely, and being fêted in academic circles in the USA and the USSR as well as in the UK. The biography also recounts many intrigues in literary circles in the postwar years, and the Snows later became targets for the emerging satire movement. This biography restores her to the high literary standing she enjoyed for the majority of her creative life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780856832987
Publisher: Shepheard-Walwyn Publishers, Limited
Publication date: 11/01/2014
Pages: 512
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 2.00(d)

About the Author

Wendy Pollard has a PhD in English from the University of Cambridge and is the author of Rosamond Lehmann and Her Critics: The Vagaries of Literary Reception.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations viii

Introduction and Acknowledgments ix

1 A Clapham Childhood 1

2 Aut Inveniam Viam, Aut Faciam 17

3 'My Darling Dylan' 32

4 'A Remarkable English First Novel' 62

5 Married Life amid the Clouds of War 85

6 Surviving on the Home Front 110

7 'Waving Flags on Top of a Huge Rubble-Heap' 126

8 Chill OutSide and Within 146

9 The Dark and the Light 161

10 'I Have Been Infinitely, Infinitely Enriched' 180

11 'Divorce-Nausea', 'Wounded Pride', finally 'Wondrous Joy' 202

12 A Fragile Start to a Second Marriage until the Arrival of 'Borox' 221

13 Second Exile from the City 238

14 '"And Have You Ever Written, Lady Snow?"' 264

15 East and West 298

16 Attacks, Scandals and Distresses 315

17 Pamela the Crusader, Pare One 345

18 Pamela the Crusader, Part Two 369

19 'This World is in a Frightful State' 389

20 'So End my Fifties…' 417

21 'Why, This is HELL - Nor am I out of it' 443

22 The Last Six Months 462

Afterword 466

Notes 469

Select Bibliography 487

Index 491

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