C.P. Snow was born in Leicester, England. He started his professional life as a scientist, though writing was always his ultimate ambition.
He won a research scholarship to Cambridge and became a Fellow of his college in 1930. He continued his academic life there until the beginning of the Second World War, by which time he had already begun his masterwork - the 11-volume Strangers and Brothers, two of which (The Masters and The New Men) were jointly awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1954. His other novels include The Search, The Malcontents and In Their Wisdom, the last of which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1974.