London: Published by Leonard and Virginia Woolf at The Hogarth Press, 1938. Octavo, first state binding of blue cloth with black lettering, original unclipped pictorial dust jacket designed by Robert Medley. Light wear to spine of jacket, tiny chips to jacket corners, bookplate to front free endpaper. Pencilled index to verso of rear free endpaper. Photographic frontispiece of the young Isherwood.
First edition of Isherwood's fictionalized account of his early years as a writer, titled after his unpublished first novel. “The novelist, I said to myself, is playing a game with his reader; he must continually amaze and deceive him, with tricks, with traps, with extraordinary gambits, with sham climaxes, with false directions. I imagined a novel as a contraption." Isherwood's friends W.H. Auden and Stephen Spender appear, lightly veiled, in the characters of Weston and Savage. Woolmer 431. A very good copy of a diverting, self-deprecating memoir.