This Bed Thy Centre
The Modern Classic
By Pamela Hansford-Johnson
Rediscover a classic gem with Pamela Hansford Johnson's THIS BED THY CENTRE, the explosive, defining novel about sex in 1930s London.
'Striking first novel . . . qualities of vitality and humour which set it apart.' New York Times
Delve into the world of Pamela Hansford Johnson through her explosive, banned debut, This Bed Thy Centre. . .
Sixteen year old Elsie Cotton, who lives with her widowed mother in south London, wants someone to explain to her what sexual intercourse is. Her mother won't tell her, and nor will her teacher; her boyfriend Roly is only too willing to show her, but fear of the unknown and her understanding of the potential consequences stop her.
As she and Roly continue their courtship, it becomes clear that the only way Elsie will take the leap into bed is if they're married...
This era-defining novel - which was banned from Battersea library on publication - explores down-at-heel south London in the 30's and attitudes towards sex. The Daily Express said at the time:
'Miss Johnson will be able to write when she has persuaded herself that there are other things in the world besides sex.'
Luckily for Miss Johnson, this was the debut novel that was followed by 27 other novels in a career that ended in her being called 'one of Britain's best-known novelists' by the New York Times.
Pamela Hansford Johnson was born in 1912. As a novelist, she gained recognition with her first novel, This Bed Thy Centre, published in 1935. She then went on to write 26 more novels throughout her life, ranging in genre from romantic and high comedy to tragedy, and the psychological study of cruelty, with themes centred around the moral responsibility of the individual in their personal and social relations. She was also a well-respected critic, a leading Proustian scholar, an essayist, a playwright, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a CBE. She died in 1981.
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- Publication date:
04 Oct 2018
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