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AUDEN, Wystan H. (1907-1973). Poet. Large photograph signed ("Wystan Auden"), also signed by CHRISTOPHER ISHERWOOD ("Christopher Isherwood") and STEPHEN SPENDER ("Stephen Spender"). [Photo by Howard Coster (1885-1959), 1937.] 8 x 10¼ in., with margins. FINE. Signed by all three in ink in lower margin. Auden stands at far left in a double-breasted pinstripe suit and tie, holding a cigarette in his right hand. Isherwood stands at center, with Spender at far right.
AUDEN, Wystan H. (1907-1973). Poet. Large photograph signed ("Wystan Auden"), also signed by CHRISTOPHER ISHERWOOD ("Christopher Isherwood") and STEPHEN SPENDER ("Stephen Spender"). [Photo by Howard Coster (1885-1959), 1937.] 8 x 10¼ in., with margins. FINE. Signed by all three in ink in lower margin. Auden stands at far left in a double-breasted pinstripe suit and tie, holding a cigarette in his right hand. Isherwood stands at center, with Spender at far right.

Details
AUDEN, Wystan H. (1907-1973). Poet. Large photograph signed ("Wystan Auden"), also signed by CHRISTOPHER ISHERWOOD ("Christopher Isherwood") and STEPHEN SPENDER ("Stephen Spender"). [Photo by Howard Coster (1885-1959), 1937.] 8 x 10¼ in., with margins. FINE. Signed by all three in ink in lower margin. Auden stands at far left in a double-breasted pinstripe suit and tie, holding a cigarette in his right hand. Isherwood stands at center, with Spender at far right.

AUDEN, SPENDER AND ISHERWOOD. A beautiful, cream-toned image of three of the most famous literary men of twentieth-century Britain. This is one of a sequence of shots by Coster, likely taken for The Bystander, an English magazine devoted to the arts. It captures Auden at an important moment in his career, just after his return from Spain where the civil war had a profound effect on his thinking. He witnessed the heavy hand of Stalinist influence on the republican side, as well as some of the ugly examples of anti-Catholic persecution by the loyalists. He was wary ever after of political commitment, and it prompted a journey back to Christianity. The following year he and Spender traveled to China to report on the Sino-Japanese war raging there. In 1939 a book project took him to America, and he decided to stay. Jingoes in Parliament denounced him and fellow ex-pat Isherwood for remaining in safety in the U. S. while German bombs fell on England (Auden did offer his services to the British consulate, but they told him he wasn't needed back home). Auden became an American citizen and divided the remainder of his life between Greenwich Village and a summer home outside Vienna.
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