Other C P Snow books: characters and originals

Opened Mar 2015

Updated: 27 Mar 2015
Back to Home PageBack to author list


The author C P Snow was a physical chemist, novelist, and Civil Servant. His best-known books are the Strangers & Brothers sequence, but he wrote a good many others. The origins of some of the characters in those other books are given here.

N E Austin
Austin was said by Snow to be loosely based on the great physicist
Lord Rutherford. (but "without his power and range")
  • The Search (1934)
Professor Desmond
Believed to be based on a mix of Prof Frank Bowden (see Francis Getliffe) and Prof Sir Eric Rideal (see Herbert Getliffe)
  • The Search (1934)
Detective Chief Superintendent Frank Briers
Believed to be based on Commander Ronald Harvey, head of the Murder Squad of the London Metropolitan Police.
  • A Coat of Varnish (1979)
Alec Luria
Luria was based on Philip Rieff (1922-2006) social psychologist and ex-husband of Susan Sontag. They divorced in 1959.
  • A Coat of Varnish (1979)

Back to Home PageBack to author list