Originally published in 1954, and set between the wars, An Impossible Marriage is the classic coming-of-age story of a young woman forced to grow up too quickly when she marries a much older man. Living out her bright, happy teenage years in south-west London, Christine's principal worries are jealousy of her dazzling best friend Iris Allbright, and avoiding the disapproval of her manager if she's late from her lunch break. But when Chris is suddenly whisked off her feet by the mysterious -- and much older -- Ned Skelton, life changes for her almost overnight. Choosing to give up her job as a secretary in order to marry, Christine commits herself to life with Ned, only to discover that this beguiling man may not be the person she originally thought.
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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