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Such Little Trousers

Lavinia Greenlaw: Pamela HansfordJohnson, 21 March 2019

This Bed Thy Centre 
by Pamela HansfordJohnson.
Hodder, 288 pp., £8.99, October 2018, 978 1 4736 7985 6
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An Impossible Marriage 
by Pamela HansfordJohnson.
Hodder, 352 pp., £8.99, October 2018, 978 1 4736 7980 1
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The Last Resort 
by Pamela HansfordJohnson.
Hodder, 352 pp., £8.99, October 2018, 978 1 4736 7994 8
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The Holiday Friend 
by Pamela HansfordJohnson.
Hodder, 272 pp., £8.99, October 2018, 978 1 4736 7987 0
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... When​ Pamela HansfordJohnson died in 1981, the New York Times described her as ‘one of England’s best-known novelists’. I knew her name, or thought I did, but couldn’t recall the title of any of her books. Her 27 novels are mostly out of print. The New York Times briskly sets them aside, along with their author: Her death came almost a year after that of C ...

He wants me no more

Tessa Hadley: Pamela HansfordJohnson, 21 January 2016

Pamela HansfordJohnsonHer Life, Works and Times 
by Wendy Pollard.
Shepheard-Walwyn, 500 pp., £25, October 2014, 978 0 85683 298 7
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... Pamela Hansford who​ ? When I asked friends and family, they vaguely knew the name but couldn’t place it – until I said she was married to C.P. Snow and then they vaguely remembered that too. They were much clearer about him: the two cultures argument, and Leavis’s vituperation, and some novels revolving around Cambridge colleges ...

Through Plate-Glass

Ian Sansom: Jonathan Coe, 10 May 2001

The Rotters’ Club 
by Jonathan Coe.
Viking, 405 pp., £14.99, April 2001, 0 670 89252 1
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... and dull in the experimental novel Coe turns into entertainment. He is writing a biography of B.S. Johnson – whom he admires – but he writes more like Pamela HansfordJohnson. He has established for himself a set of stylistic conventions – conversational smooth ...

The chair she sat on

J.I.M. Stewart, 19 July 1984

Secrets of a Woman’s Heart: The Later Life of Ivy Compton-Burnett 1920-1969 
by Hilary Spurling.
Hodder, 336 pp., £14.95, June 1984, 0 340 26241 9
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... that skulduggery should escape its penalty) that the true facts of the case are anybody’s guess. Pamela HansfordJohnson (in a British Council pamphlet) says one thing, and Robert Liddell (in The Novels of I. Compton-Burnett) says she is quite wrong. Close study suggests that Liddell is right. Or consider again ...

The Great Percy

C.H. Sisson, 18 November 1982

Stranger and Brother: A Portrait of C.P. Snow 
by Philip Snow.
Macmillan, 206 pp., £8.95, October 1982, 0 333 32680 6
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... To call him ‘C.P.’, as some did even then, no doubt implied a special relationship. It was Pamela HansfordJohnson who put her foot down, when they were married in 1950, and who decided that he was to be called Charles; in relation to any earlier period the name is an innocent anachronism, which has the ...

Everything is good news

Seamus Perry: Dylan Thomas’s Moment, 20 November 2014

The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas: The New Centenary Edition 
edited by John Goodby.
Weidenfeld, 416 pp., £20, October 2014, 978 0 297 86569 8
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Under Milk Wood: The Definitive Edition 
edited by Walford Davies and Ralph Maud.
Phoenix, 208 pp., £7.99, May 2014, 978 1 78022 724 5
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Collected Stories 
by Dylan Thomas.
Phoenix, 384 pp., £8.99, May 2014, 978 1 78022 730 6
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A Dylan Thomas Treasury: Poems, Stories and Broadcasts 
Phoenix, 186 pp., £7.99, May 2014, 978 1 78022 726 9Show More
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... himself – ‘the shape of a boy, and a funny boy at that’, as he told his early lover Pamela HansfordJohnson. ‘I’m like a baby in the dark,’ he explained to Henry Treece, an Apocalyptic poet who wrote the first critical book about him, and with whom Thomas had a long and revealing ...

Scarsdale Romance

Anita Brookner, 6 May 1982

Mrs Harris 
by Diana Trilling.
Hamish Hamilton, 341 pp., £8.95, May 1982, 0 241 10822 5
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... of a writer who respects the art of fiction. A different sort of fictive impulse was exercised by Pamela HansfordJohnson when, reviewing the behaviour of Ian Brady and Myra Hindley on trial for the Moors Murders, she wrote her thoughts On Iniquity. Here was a perception of evil that distorted the more trivial ...

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