W.H. Auden and Edward Upward (1903-2009) first met in 1927 through their mutual friend Christopher Isherwood, to whom Auden dedicated this work. Auden himself acknowledged the great influence Upward and Isherwood's Mortmere stories had on his writing during the early thirties. Included in this lot is a photocopy of the letter from Auden dated 6 October 1930 which would have accompanied this copy: "I thought you might like a copy of this... I shall never know how much in these poems is filched from you via Christopher."
Stephen Spender's impression of the literary hierarchy was that Spender deferred to Auden, Auden deferred to Isherwood, Isherwood deferred to Upward, and Upward deferred to nobody.
Upward was a key figure in the "Auden generation" and "had an influence far greater than his always small readership suggested. Isherwood described him as "the judge before whom all my work must stand trial" (All the Conspirators), while Auden's early work was "indebted to Upward's imaginative world" (Peter Parker, Oxford DNB).
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