Last Things

C. P. Snow

22 February 2018
304 pages


The world of Sir Lewis Eliot draws to a close in Last Things, the eleventh and final novel in C. P. Snow’s decade-spanning Strangers and Brothers sequence.

After his heart stops briefly on the operating table, Sir Lewis is compelled to reflect on his life, to pass judgement on his hopes and achievements, and to prepare his brilliant and beloved son, Charles, for the future.

Thoughtful and elegiac, but ultimately suffused with optimism, Last Things is a fitting conclusion to a cycle of novels distinguished by their humane reflection and willingness to portray the lives of men – great and small – with unfailing insight and compassion.

A meticulous study of the public issues and private problems of post-war Britain, C. P. Snow’s Strangers and Brothers sequence is a towering achievement that stands alongside Anthony Powell’s A Dance to the Music of Time as one of the great romans-fleuves of the twentieth century.

Praise for the Strangers and Brothers sequence

“Together, the sequence presents a vivid portrait of British academic, political and public life. Snow was that rare thing, a scientist and novelist.” Jeffrey Archer, Guardian

“Balzacian masterpieces of the age” Philip Hensher, Telegraph

“Through [the Strangers and Brothers sequence] as in no other work in our time we have explored the inner life of the new classless class that is the 20th century Establishment” New York Times

“A very considerable achievement … It brings into the novel themes and locales never seen before (except perhaps in Trollope).” Anthony Burgess

“The most comprehensive, the most informative and, all in all, the most impressive portrait of modern England that any novelist has yet given us.” Michael Millgate, Commentary

A genuine literary event
The final floor in one of the great postwar literary edifices . . . one of the great documentary works of a time not easily documented.