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Pamela Hansford JohnsonA Writing Life$
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Deirdre David

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198729617

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198729617.001.0001

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The Orange Chair

The Orange Chair

(p.269) 11 The Orange Chair
Pamela Hansford Johnson

Deirdre David

Oxford University Press

The last years of Pamela’s life were marked by further illness but also by a remarkable dedication to work. She was hospitalized several times for respiratory illnesses, but in 1974 she published a book of autobiographical essays, Important to Me, which covered such topics as memories of her father, her relationship with Dylan Thomas, her visits to the USSR, and her friendship with other writers such as Edith Sitwell. After months of undiagnosed pain, Snow died in 1980 of a perforated ulcer and Pamela died almost one year later of congestive heart failure and respiratory illness exacerbated by having smoked since the age of fourteen. Yet characteristically she worked courageously until the very end on a novel published posthumously: A Bonfire, which similarly to her first novel deals explicitly with sexual desire. Her ashes were scattered at Stratford-upon-Avon, a place she visited every year on Shakespeare’s birthday.

Keywords:   C.P. Snow, death, Shakespeare, Important to Me, Dylan Thomas, Edith Sitwell, Stratford-upon-Avon

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