Charles Percy Snow

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Snow, Charles Percy


Born Oct. 15, 1905, in Leicester. English writer.

Snow graduated from University College in Leicester. Trained as a physicist, he began working under E. Rutherford at the Cavendish Laboratory in 1930. During World War II (1939–45) he was a government science expert. Between 1947 and 1954 he headed the English Electric Company. From 1964 to 1966 he served in the British government as parliamentary secretary to the Ministry of Technology.

Snow published his first work in the early 1930’s. He drew upon his experiences in scientific and government circles for the series of novels Strangers and Brothers. The central idea of the series is that English society consists of “brothers,” who are linked in one way or another by their consciousness of civic duty, and “strangers,” who have no sense of responsibility toward their country and the people. The most important books in this series are Time of Hope (1949; Russian translation, 1962), Homecoming (1956; Russian translation, 1964), The Affair (1960; Russian translation, 1962), and Corridors of Power (1964, Russian translation, 1966).

Snow writes in a traditional style, comparable to that of the English critical realists of the 19th century. He deals with the problems of the “culture of the humanities” in a period of scientific and technical revolution, for instance, in the collection of articles The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution (1960). Snow, an advocate of friendly relations with the USSR, is an honorary doctor of the University of Rostov.


Variety of Men. London, 1967.
The Sleep of Reason. London, 1968.
Last Things. London, 1970.
In Their Wisdom. London, 1974.


Petelin, G. S., and Ia. R. Simkin. Ch. P. Snou: Pisatel’ i chelovek. Rostov-on-Don, 1963.
Ivasheva, V. V. Angliiskaia literatura XX vek. Moscow, 1967.
Thale, J. C. P. Snow. Edinburgh-London, 1964.

D. M. URNOV [23–1899–]

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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