All the Conspirators
Fiction by Christopher Isherwood
Christopher Isherwood was only twenty-one when he began his first novel, All the Conspirators, in 1926; it was published in England two years later. In his introduction to the first American edition (published by New Directions in 1958), Isherwood explains: “All the Conspirators records a minor engagement in what Shelley calls ‘the great war between the old and young.’ And what a war it was!”
All the Conspirators (like the classic Berlin Stories) grows out of a particular historical situation—the transformation of English life after WWI—but it is also the story of a young artist defying his mother’s expectation that he will pursue a conventional middle-class profession. Isherwood’s portrayal of this passionate struggle is psychologically astute and subtly chilling.