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This interview is taken from PN Review 19, Volume 7 Number 5, May - June 1981.

Edward Upward: A Conversation with Alan Munton and Alan Young Alan Munton and Alan Young

Edward Falaise Upward was born in Romford, Essex, in 1903. At his public school (Repton) he met Christopher Isher-wood. Later, at Cambridge University, he and Isherwood invented the fantastic village of Mortmere and wrote many stories about that bizarre, violent, and highly disturbing world. Only one of Upward's Mortmere stories, 'The Railway Accident', has appeared in print. After leaving Cambridge Upward became a schoolmaster. His short-stories of the 1930s appeared in Michael Roberts's New Country and in Left Review. Upward joined the Communist Party in 1932 and from 1935 to 1939 he was a member of the editorial board of The Ploughshare, the magazine of the Teachers' Anti-War Movement. His novel, Journey to the Border, appeared in 1938, but he wrote little after this work, remaining completely silent from 1942 until the early 1960s. For thirty years he taught at Alleyn's, a London grammar school, where he was head of the English department. He retired early to the original family home on the Isle of Wight in order to devote more time to writing. His trilogy of novels (The Spiral Ascent) includes In the Thirties (1962), and No Home but the Struggle (1977). Alan Munton and Alan Young talked to him at his home two years ago, and began by asking him about his family and his artistic background:

I have said a good deal about my family in the third book of The Spiral Ascent. That is almost completely true. I would not say for certain ...


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