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Isherwood, Christopher (1904–1986)
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Born Christopher William Bradshaw Isherwood on August 26, 1904, in High Lane, Cheshire, England, into a family of landed gentry, Isherwood was educated at Repton School and Corpus Christi, Cambridge. After leaving the university without a degree in 1925, he frankly acknowledged his homosexuality to himself and to his mother, and renewed his friendship with W.H.Auden, his former classmate at St. Edmund’s preparatory school, with whom he was to share an unromantic sexual relationship for some ten years. Isherwood published his first novel, All the Conspirators, in 1928, but its low sales prompted a brief attempt to study medicine at King’s College, London. After visiting Berlin in 1929, he decided to move there. Living in Berlin from 1930 to 1933, he came to feel liberated from the sexual and social inhibitions that stifled his development in England. In Berlin, he revised his second novel, The Memorial (1932), and translated his experience of the demimonde into what would eventually become the unsurpassed portrait of pre-Hitler Germany, the Berlin Stories (comprising The Last of Mr. Norris [1935] and Good-bye to Berlin [1938]).