The Philistines

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Pan Macmillan, May 3, 2012 - Fiction - 328 pages
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In The Philistines, Pamela Hansford Johnson tells the story of a young woman who, on impulse, marries into surroundings not her own. Despite the boredom of the surburban world in which she finds herself, she remains content with life until, during the war, she falls in love. And though her love affair offers no more complete satisfaction than her marriage; though the great passion of her life is, in fact, a one-sided one; she tolerates this as she tolerated the drabness of her married life.

The Philistines is a subtle and penetrating study of a lively, witty woman of energetic mind who found in a shadow what she could not find in substance; a woman whose own resilience prevents her troubles from growing into the tragedy by which a lesser woman might have been engulfed.

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About the author (2012)

Pamela Hansford Johnson was born in 1912 and gained recognition with her first novel, This Bed Thy Centre, published in 1935. She wrote 27 novels. Her themes centred on the moral responsibility of the individual in their personal and social relations. The fictional genres she used ranged from romantic comedy (Night and Silence, Who Is Here?) and high comedy (The Unspeakable Skipton) to tragedy (The Holiday Friend) and the psychological study of cruelty (An Error of Judgement). Her last novel, A Bonfire, was published in the year of her death, 1981.

She was a critic as well as a novelist and wrote books on Thomas Wolfe and Ivy Compton-Burnett; Six Proust Reconstructions (1958) confirmed her reputation as a leading Proustian scholar. She also wrote a play, Corinth House (1954), a work of social criticism arising out of the Moors Trial, On Iniquity (1967), and a book of essays, Important to Me (1974). She received honorary degrees from six universities and was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She was awarded the C.B.E. in 1975.

Pamela Hansford Johnson, who had two children by her first marriage with journalist Gordon Neil Stewart, later married C. P. Snow. Their son Philip was born in 1952.

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