C. P. Snow

(1905—1980) writer and scientific administrator

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(Baron Snow of Leicester) (1905–80), novelist. His early career was devoted to scientific research in Cambridge; but he turned increasingly to administration, and in later life held many important public posts. His novel sequence Strangers and Brothers (the original title of the first volume, 1940, retitled subsequently George Passant), spanned 30 years of writing, and more years in the life of its narrator, Lewis Eliot, a barrister who, like Snow himself, rose from lower middle‐class provincial origins to enjoy worldly success and influence. The settings of the novels (The Light and the Dark, 1947; Time of Hope, 1949; The Masters, 1951; The New Men, 1954; Homecomings, 1956; The Conscience of the Rich, 1958; The Affair, 1959; Corridors of Power, 1963; The Sleep of Reason, 1968; Last Things, 1970) are largely academic or scientific; The Masters, a study of the internal politics of a Cambridge college, is perhaps his best known. His interest in public affairs is reflected in his work, and his novel on Westminster life, The Corridors of Power, added a phrase to the language of the day, as did his Rede Lecture on The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution (1959). He published several other novels and critical works, including a critical biography of Trollope (1975). In 1950 he married Pamela Hansford Johnson.

Subjects: Literature.

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Works by C. P. Snow

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