London: Published by Leonard and Virginia Woolf at the Hogarth Press, 52 Tavistock Square, 1932. First Edition. Hardcover. First Impression (one of only 1,222 copies) of this "remarkably acute and assured novel about the pre- and post-war generations, seen from both sides of the divide" (ODNB) in the uncommon first-state binding. Crown 8vo (183 x 118mm): 294pp. Publisher's pale pink coarsely woven linen, spine lettered in blue; mid-brown dust jacket illustrated by Jack Banting, printed in blue and priced 7/6. About Fine, tightly bound and clean throughout (apparently unread); jacket virtually pristine. Woolmer 294. Fine- / Fine. Item #BB1033
According to the Literary Encyclopedia, the death of Isherwood’s father in the First World War and the deep, lifelong mourning into which his mother fell provide much of the background for the family dynamics of Isherwood's early novels, including The Memorial, in which Cambridge student Eric Vernon finds himself torn between a desire to emulate his heroic father and his envy for his father’s great friend Edward Blake, who survived the war only to throw himself into gay life in Berlin and the pursuit of meaningless relationships. The story is imbued with Freudian family analysis, centering on the conflict between mother and son, and rebellion against the stifling English class society into which Isherwood was born (a withering branch of a distinguished family tree that had roots in Cheshire extending back to the Civil War). In his early career Isherwood adopted the high-Modernist style of the preceding generation of English novelists, particularly Virginia Woolf (whose Hogarth Press brought out The Memorial) and D. H. Lawrence. In The Memorial, Isherwood experimented with the novel form, recombining the chapters into a non-sequential chronology. N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, with dust jackets carefully preserved in archival, removable mylar sleeves. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed. (Fine Editions Ltd is a member of the Independent Online Booksellers Association, and we subscribe to its codes of ethics.).