ISHERWOOD, Christopher

(1904 - 1986)
“I am a camera with its shutter open”

Christopher William Bradshaw Isherwood, novelist, playwright, screen-writer, autobiographer, and diarist, was friends with Edward Upson, Wystan Auden and Stephen Spender and with them formed the core of the Leftist literary thirties set known as the “Auden Group”.  He told the story of these culture-shaping friendships in his first semi- autobiography, Lions and Shadows [1938].  In 1929 he moved with Auden to the decadent Berlin of the Weimar Republic, where he enjoyed a pleasure-seeking life in the dying days of the Jazz Age, which he perfectly captures in his Berlin Stories.  It was also where he become friends and roommates with the model Jean Ross, who was the basis for his famous character Sally Bowles. By 1939 Isherwood had settled in America where he made important strides in the portrayal of gay men both in his fiction and numerous volumes of memoirs. Aldous Huxley introduced him to Vedantism, the study of which consumed him to an extent that he did not write any fiction for five years. His biographer writes, with endearing dryness, that there could be likelier converts to ascetic religion than 'a sceptical, sybaritic, chain-smoking, egotistical and morally confused homosexual atheist'. In 1953 he fell in love with Don Bachardy, a relationship which was to last the rest of Isherwood's life. At the conclusion of his 1976 biography, Christopher and His Kind, he described Bachardy as “the ideal companion to whom you can reveal yourself totally and yet be loved for what you are, not what you pretend to be.” During the 1970s and 1980s Isherwood and Bachardy were active participants in the burgeoning American Gay Liberation movement, a movement that Isherwood's work of the 1950s and 1960s had anticipated and inspired.

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Books by this author

Christopher and His Kind

ISHERWOOD, Christopher

£500.00

Prater Violet

ISHERWOOD, Christopher

£95.00

Lions and Shadows

ISHERWOOD, Christopher

£300.00

Sally Bowles

ISHERWOOD, Christopher

£750.00

The Memorial

ISHERWOOD, Christopher

£600.00

Mr. Norris Changes Trains

ISHERWOOD, Christopher

£2,500.00