Christopher Isherwood, Diaries. Vol 1: 1939–1960 (Signed copy)
Signed by the editor to Swami Vidyatmananda, Isherwood's friend and spiritual inspiration
First edition, first printing. Hardback in dustwrapper. 24 × 16cm, liv + 1048pp.
This copy has been signed by the editor to the title page, "for Swami Vidyatmananda with gratitude from the editor, fondly, Kate". Vidyatmananda was John Yale (1913–2000, also known as Prema Chaitanya) an American who found faith in Hinduism. He corresponded frequently with Isherwood, and Isherwood wrote the introduction to his "What Religion Is: In the Words of Swami Vivekananda". He was also the editor of Vedanta and the West. John Yale has numerous appearances in the book and index. Provenance: Trevanion and Dean (Whitchurch) from Swami Vidyatmananda's Paris library.
In 1939 Christopher Isherwood and W. H. Auden emigrated together to the United States. In spare, luminous prose these diaries describe Isherwood's search for a new life in California; his work as a screenwriter in Hollywood, his pacifism during World War II and his friendships with such gifted artists and intellectuals as Garbo, Chaplin, Thomas Mann, Charles Laughton, Gielgud, Olivier, Richard Burton and Aldous Huxley.
Throughout this period, Isherwood continued to write novels and sustain his literary friendships—with E. M. Forster, Somerset Maugham, Tennessee Williams and others. He turned to his diaries several times a week to record jokes and gossip, observations about his adopted country, philosophy and mystical insights. His devotion to his diary was a way of accounting for himself; he used it as both a discipline and a release.
The book is in very good condition but with a little finger-marking to the pages edges, a light crease to the top corner and light bumping to the boards' corners. The dustwrapper is a little sun-faded to the spine but has not been price-clipped and is now within a protective sleeve.