Isherwood, Christopher, 1904-1986

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1904-08-26
Death 1986-01-05
Britons
English

Biographical notes:

After Isherwood dropped out of Cambridge University in 1925, he became the private secretary to the French violinist André Mangeot. Mangeot's son, Sylvain, the manuscript's illustrator, would become the Diplomatic Editor for the Reuters News Agency and the author of The Adventures of a Manchurian: The Story of Lobsang Thondup (Collins, 1974).

From the description of People one ought to know : autograph manuscript signed : [London], January 1926. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 697846122

Chester Kallman was an American poet and librettist.

From the guide to the Chester Kallman collection of papers, 1937-1973, (The New York Public Library. Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature.)

Christopher Isherwood, British author.

From the description of Christopher Isherwood letters to his family, 1942-1974. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 83632088

From the description of Christopher Isherwood letters to his family, 1942-1974. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702152814

English writer of novels and plays, and gay activist.

From the description of Collection, 1883-1971, (bulk 1932-1970). (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (HRC); University of Texas at Austin). WorldCat record id: 122547443

Christopher Isherwood (1904-1986), British-American author of All the conspirators (1928), The last of Mr. Norris (1935) and Good By to Berlin (1939; reissued as The Berlin stories, 1946), Prater Violet (1945), The world in the evening (1954), Down there on a visit (1962), A single man (1964), Meeting by the river (1967), Kathleen and Frank (1971), and others. A close friend of W.H. Auden, Isherwood collaborated with him on the dramas The dog beneath the skin (1935), The ascent of F6 (1936), and On the frontier (1938), as well as on Journey to a war (1939). From 1928 to 1932, he lived in Germany, and in 1939 emigrated to the United States. Isherwood is known for his advocacy of discarding the taboos against homosexuality.

From the description of Papers of Christopher Isherwood, 1864-1997, (bulk 1925-1985). (Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens). WorldCat record id: 122396660

Christopher Isherwood was a British expatriate who emigrated to America in 1939. He authored novels, plays, screenplays, expositions, and translations of the Vedanta.

From the guide to the Christopher Isherwood collection of papers, 1926-1975, (The New York Public Library. Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature.)

Christopher Isherwood was a British expatriate who emigrated to America with W.H. Auden in 1939. He authored novels, plays, screenplays, expositions, and translations of the Vedanta.

From the description of Christopher Isherwood collection of papers, 1926-1975. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 144652051

Novelist and playwright Christopher Isherwood (Christopher William Bradshaw-Isherwood) was born in Disley, Cheshire, on 26 August 1904. He was educated at St Edmunds School, Hindhead, Surrey, which was a preparatory school, and at Repton School. He studied first at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, from 1924, though he did not take his degree. He then studied medicine at King's College London, 1928-29. He gave this up however, and after the publication of his first novel All the conspirators (1928), he went to Germany and taught English in Berlin, 1930-1933. For a time he was a journalist in London, 1934-1936 and he also did film-script work for Gaumont-British. In 1938 Isherwood travelled to China with W. H. Auden, a long-time friend from prep' school days. Indeed when Erika Mann (daughter of Thomas Mann) approached him with the suggestion that she marry him to obtain a British passport, the unwilling Isherwood approached Auden who did agree to marry her in 1935. In 1939, he emigrated to California to be a scriptwriter for Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer, and in 1946 he took US citizenship. Auden too had emigrated to the USA and took American citizenship. In 1947, Isherwood stayed in Quito, Ecuador, during a tour of several months in South America. Other works by Isherwood include The memorial (1932), Mr. Norris changes trains (1935), Goodbye to Berlin (1939) upon which the musical Cabaret was based, Prater Violet (1945), The world in the evening (1954), and Down there on a visit (1962). With Auden he wrote The dog beneath the skin (1935), Ascent of F6 (1937), On the frontier (1938), and Journey to a war (1939). Isherwood became interested in the teaching of Swami Prabhavananda and he also co-translated with him, The Bhagavad-Gita (1944), Shankara's crest-jewel of discrimination (1947), and How to know God. The yogi aphorisms of Patanjali (1953). Many of his famous literary friends appeared in his books under different names, including Auden, Stephen Spender, and Virginia Woolf. Isherwood became a leading spokesman for gay rights and he was one of the first internationally known figures to admit that he was homosexual. His relationship with Don Bachardy - who became a portraitist and later Los Angeles bon vivant, and who together with Isherwood in 1968, was painted by David Hockney - continued for over thirty years until Isherwood's death. Christopher Isherwood died in Santa Monica on 4 January 1986.

From the guide to the Correspondence and Papers relating to Christopher Isherwood (1904-1986), [1937]-1983, (Edinburgh University Library)

English author.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Khalke (Calchis) Greece, to a Mrs. Kurath, 1933 June 26. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 269526906

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Santa Monica College, California, to Herbert Cahoon, [1962] Feb. 24. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270871127

British author, playwright, editor, and translator.

From the description of Letter, [19--] Feb. 26. (University of Oregon Libraries). WorldCat record id: 23820782

Novelist, born in Disley, Cheshire, NWC England, UK. He studied at Repton, Cambridge, and London, and taught English in Germany (1930-33). His best-known novels, Mr Norris Changes Trains (1935) and Goodbye to Berlin (1939), were based on his experiences in the decadence of post-slump, pre-Hitler Berlin, and later inspired Cabaret (musical, 1966; filmed, 1972). In collaboration with Auden, a school friend, he wrote three prose-verse plays with political overtones. He also travelled in China with Auden in 1938, and wrote Journey to a War (1939). In 1939 he emigrated to California to work as a scriptwriter, and became a US citizen in 1946. Later novels include Prater Violet (1945), The World in the Evening (1954), and Meeting by the River (1967).

From the description of Christopher Isherwood collection. [1970-1971]. (University of Victoria Libraries). WorldCat record id: 667848525

Author Christopher Isherwood was born in England, but immigrated to America in 1939 and became a naturalized citizen in 1946. His time in Berlin in the 1930s led to a popular series of stories later adapted as the stage play I am a camera and the musical Cabaret. Isherwood generally wrote about experiences he had or observed, and his work is characterized by passive protagonists and dead-pan, camp humor. He died of cancer on 4 Jan. 1986.

From the description of Christopher Isherwood letters, 1946-1962. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 51851913

From the description of Christopher Isherwood postal card to Jon Carroll, 1964 July 18. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 57591617

Christopher Isherwood, author. Also by Don Bachardy.

From the description of A meeting by the river; typescript, 1978. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122687164

Christopher William Bradshaw-Isherwood was born in Cheshire, England, on August 26, 1904, to Kathleen Machell-Smith and Frank Bradshaw-Isherwood. His brother, Richard, was born in 1911. Frank Isherwood was in the British military and was required to move his family several times, much to Kathleen's displeasure. She sent Christopher to St. Edmund's boarding school for a proper education in 1914. There he met W. H. Auden, who was to become a life-long friend and co-author of several books and plays. The death of Isherwood's father on May 8, 1915, during a battle in France deeply affected him, not only in his perspective of his father and how he would relate to his mother, but in his attitude towards the military and war itself.

Isherwood met Edward Upward, a life-long friend and influence, in 1919 at Repton, a prestigious public school, and later joined him at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, in 1923. In 1925, Isherwood was asked to withdraw from the university and so he took a job in London as a part-time secretary to a string quartet and began to write novels. The influence of E. M. Forster encouraged Isherwood to write and publish his first novel, All the Conspirators in May of 1928.

Throughout Isherwood's life, he knew and worked with many people who influenced him and whom he influenced. He was known by the Bloomsbury group, and Hogarth Press published three of his books, The Memorial: Portrait of a Family (1932), Lions and Shadows (1938), and Good bye to Berlin (1939). John Lehmann, a poet and an editor for the press, became a life-long friend to Isherwood and they supported each other in their work and in their personal lives.

Isherwood traveled to Berlin in 1929 to escape the social and sexual inhibitions that he felt in England. He then decided to live there and worked on his second novel The Memorial (1932), and what was to become one of his best known works, the Berlin Stories. These stories offer an insight into the pre-Hitler era of Germany and were later developed into the musical Cabaret.

Isherwood lived in Berlin from 1930 to 1933. Trying to avoid the restraints that Hitler was enforcing on Germany, Isherwood and Heinz, his lover, traveled around Europe looking for a place to settle until 1937 when Heinz was forced to return to Germany to serve in the army. This affected Isherwood deeply. Losing the freedoms he had felt in Germany, and knowing that England could not offer better social conditions than before his departure in 1929, he and W. H. Auden began traveling in the Orient in 1938. During their travels they wrote, Journey to a War (1939). They went to the United States before returning to England. In 1939, the conditions in Europe were looking more as though war was inevitable, and Isherwood did not want to be a part of this, so he and Auden returned to the United States and decided to become American citizens. In New York, Isherwood did not find the haven he had hoped for and moved to California at the invitation of Gerald Heard. From October 1941, until July 1942, Isherwood lived in Haverford, Pennsylvania, and taught English to German refugees through the Society of Friends, a Quaker organization. Isherwood received his immigration papers and was a conscientious objector to the war, however, the age was lowered and he never had to serve his new country.

Isherwood returned to California and worked intermittently in motion picture studios in Hollywood for over 30 years. Due to this involvement, Isherwood met and worked with a variety of writers and other people who worked in the Hollywood community such as Tennessee Williams, Aldous Huxley, Kenneth Anger, Truman Capote, and Charles Laughton.

Living in Los Angeles, Isherwood became involved with Swami Prabhavanda, a Hindu monk who was head of the Vedanta Society of Southern California. This had a major impact on his life, providing a spiritual foundation that supported his social beliefs as well as his sexual identity. Isherwood had determined during his years in Berlin that freedom was more than what the left-wing was preaching at that time, and that the homophobia that prevailed in this movement was one of the obvious indications that this freedom was to be limited to a select few. By the 1970s, Isherwood had began to publicly discuss how homophobia was one aspect of the hate that must be overcome to reach a level of peace in the world.

Don Bachardy and Isherwood met in 1953 and became lovers in 1954. They worked together on number of motion pictures, television scripts, and on dramatizations of Shaw's story The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Search for God (1969) and A Meeting by the River. Isherwood and Bachardy remained lovers until Isherwood died in 1986.

From the guide to the Christopher Isherwood Collection TXRC93-A2., 1883-1970, (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin)

Christopher Isherwood, British author.

John Lehmann, British author and publisher.

From the description of Christopher Isherwood correspondence with John Lehmann, 1931-1973. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 83468990

Christopher Isherwood, British author.

John Lehmann, British author and publisher.

From the description of Christopher Isherwood correspondence with John Lehmann, 1931-1973. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702152802

Loading...

Loading Relationships

Information

Permalink:
http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6dr314g
Ark ID:
w6dr314g
SNAC ID:
6415966

Subjects:

  • English literature--20th century
  • Children's poetry, English
  • World War, 1914-1918--Personal narratives, British
  • Notebooks--Specimens
  • Male authors, English--20th century--Correspondence
  • Male homosexuality in literature
  • English poetry
  • British Americans--Archives
  • Authors, English--20th century--Interviews
  • Novelists, English--20th century
  • Authors, American--20th century--Archives
  • Autographs
  • Authors, English--20th century--Correspondence
  • Humorous poetry
  • Animals--Humor
  • Gay authors--Archives
  • Animals--Pictorial works
  • Hinduism in literature
  • Manuscripts, English--20th century--Specimens
  • Animals--Juvenile poetry
  • Nonsense verses, English
  • Male homosexuality
  • World War, 1939-1945
  • Authors, English--20th century--Archives
  • Hinduism
  • Isherwood, Kathleen Machell Smith, 1868-1960
  • Authors, English--20th century
  • Vedanta

Occupations:

  • Authors

Places:

  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Germany (as recorded)