Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lost classics by Pamela Hansford Johnson to be published by Bello to mark her centenary

May 2012 marks the centenary of the prolific novelist, poet, playwright and literary critic, Pamela Hansford Johnson.    To mark her centenary, Bello, Pan Macmillan’s digital only imprint, is republishing some of her classic works as ebooks. The list has been drawn from the prestigious backlist of the Curtis Brown Literary and Talent Agency.

In all, Pamela Hansford Johnson wrote 27 novels; Bello is republishing eighteen of them.    Her first novel, This Bed Thy Centre, was published in 1935 when she was only 23.   It received mixed reviews, was, according to one source, banned from her local library but ultimately it sold well and Pamela received warm encouragement from the influential literary critic, Cyril Connolly.    

Her writing ranged across most fictional genres, from romantic comedy to high comedy, tragedy, literary satire and powerful studies of psychological cruelty. Her themes often centred on the moral responsibility of the individual in their personal and social relations.  

Pamela Hansford Johnson was born in London to a theatrical family.  Her father died when she was eleven; Pamela left school at the age of sixteen, took a secretarial course and worked at the Central Hanover Bank and Trust Company.   Her poems were first published by Victor Neuburg and in 1933 she came into contact with Dylan Thomas, to whom she briefly became engaged.  

In 1936 she married the journalist, Gordon Neil Stewart, with whom she had two children.   In 1950 she married the novelist, CP Snow with whom she had a son, Philip.   She was awarded the CBE for her services to literature in 1975.

Her last novel, A Bonfire, was published in 1981, the year of her death.  It is perhaps her most personal and socially aware novel about relationships through good times and bad.     

The full list of titles published as Bello e-books (£7.99 each) or as print on demand (£14.99) is as follows:

·   The Survival of The Fittest
·   A Summer to Decide
·  An Impossible Marriage
·  The Good Husband
·  Too Dear for my Possessing
·  The Holiday Friend
·  Cork Street, Next to the Hatter’s
·  The Good Listener
·  The Last Resort
·  Night and Silence, Who is Here?
·  A Bonfire
·  Important to Me
·  An Avenue of Stone
·  Catherine Carter
·  The Humbler Creation
·  The Honours Board
·  Trojan Brothers
·  The Philistines

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