Lavinia Greenlaw, 21 March 2019
Johnson published a scandalous, bestselling novel at the age of 23. By the time she married C.P. Snow, her second husband, she had written 13 books. The biographical note to these new Hodder editions says, somewhat slyly, that ‘for thirty years they formed an ambitious and infamous couple.’ The Encyclopaedia Britannica summarises her as an ‘English novelist who treated moral concerns with a light but sure touch’, as if she were being praised for her pastry. Johnson’s writing is more industrial than domestic.