Edward Upward (Edward Falaise Upward) Biography
(1903– ), (Edward Falaise Upward), Journey to the Border, The Railway Accident and Other Stories
English novelist and short-story writer, born in Romford, educated at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. A schoolmaster in London from 1928 to 1962, during the 1930s he was a member of the Communist Party and closely associated with Christopher Isherwood, Stephen Spender, and W. H. Auden. His novel Journey to the Border (1938) examines Marxism through the interior monologues of a middle-class young man employed as a tutor in the house of a rich man. Both this novel and the title story of The Railway Accident and Other Stories (1969) were inspired by an imaginary world, the village ‘Mortmere’ created by Upward and his friend Isherwood when they were undergraduates at Cambridge. Upward left the Communist Party in 1948 due to ideological disagreements. The conflict between political commitment and artistic fulfilment is examined in his semi-autobiographical trilogy The Spiral Ascent (1977), made up of In the Thirties (1962), The Rotten Elements (1969), and No Home but the Struggle (1977), which portray several decades in the life of a middle-class poet and schoolteacher, Alan Sebrill. Later volumes of stories are The Night Walk and Other Stories (1987) and An Unmentionable Man (1994). The Mortmere Stories (1994) collects stories written with Christopher Isherwood in the 1920s.