6 years, 8 months on Open Salon__________________________


New York, New York,
April 22

JANUARY 28, 2010 8:38PM

Louis Auchincloss, author of more than 60 books, dies at 92

Rate: 5 Flag


Besides the death of J.D. Salinger, we had another author pass on this week: Louis Auchincloss. While Salinger's published works number far, far fewer both authors were quite close in age and grew up in the New York City area.

My wife had some correspondence with Louis Auchincloss a few years ago and she has read nearly all of his novels over the past 20 years. She is a huge fan and is very sad that there will be no more novels penned by him. Our condolences to his family. We encourage readers to enjoy his work, if you haven't done so already.

He was a cousin by marriage to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and a third cousin of FDR.

The New York Times has a lengthy and interesting obituary which I have linked to below, plus the Wikipedia entry on Louis Auchincloss:





From Wikipedia:


Born in Lawrence, New York, Auchincloss was the son of Priscilla Dixon (née Stanton) and Joseph Howland Auchincloss.[2] His paternal grandfather, John Winthrop Auchincloss, was the brother of Edgar Stirling Auchincloss (father of James C. Auchincloss) and Hugh Dudley Auchincloss (father of Hugh D. Auchincloss, Jr.).[3][4] He grew up among the privileged people about whom he would write, attending Groton School, and Yale University, where he was editor of the Yale Literary Magazine. Although he did not complete his undergraduate studies at Yale, he was admitted to and attended law school at the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1941 and was admitted to the New York bar the same year. He was an associate at Sullivan & Cromwell from 1941 to 1951 (with an interruption for war service from 1941 to 1945 in the United States Navy during World War II). After taking a break to pursue full-time writing [5], Auchincloss returned to working as a lawyer, firstly as an associate (1954–58) and then as a partner (1958–86) at Hawkins, Delafield and Wood in New York City as a wills and trusts attorney, while writing at the rate of a book a year.

Among Auchincloss's best-known books are the multi-generational sagas The House of Five Talents, Portrait in Brownstone, and East Side Story. Other well-known novels include The Rector of Justin, the tale of a renowned headmaster of a school like Groton trying to deal with changing times, and The Embezzler, a look at white-collar crime. Auchincloss is known for his closely observed portraits of old New York and New England society.

Auchincloss was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1965. He received the National Medal of Arts in 2005. He received honorary degrees from New York University (Litt.D., 1974), Pace University (1979), and The University of the South (1986).




  • The Indifferent Children (1947)
  • Sybil (1952)
  • A Law for the Lion (1953)
  • The Great World and Timothy Colt (1956)
  • Venus in Sparta (1958)
  • Pursuit of the Prodigal (1959)
  • The House of Five Talents (1960)
  • Portrait in Brownstone (1962)
  • The Rector of Justin (1964)
  • The Embezzler (1966)
  • A World of Profit (1968)
  • I Come as a Thief (1972)
  • The Dark Lady (1977)
  • The Country Cousin (1978)
  • The House of the Prophet (1980)
  • The Cat and the King (1981)
  • Watchfires (1982)
  • Exit Lady Masham (1983)
  • The Book Class (1984)
  • Honourable Men (1986)
  • Diary of a Yuppie (1987)
  • The Golden Calves (1988)
  • Fellow Passengers: A Novel in Portraits (1989)
  • The Lady of Situations (1990)
  • Three Lives (1993)
  • The Education of Oscar Fairfax (1995)
  • Her Infinite Variety (2000)
  • The Scarlet Letters (2003)
  • East Side Story (2004)
  • The Headmaster's Dilemma (2007)
  • Last of the Old Guard (2008)

Short story collections

  • The Injustice Collectors (1950)
  • The Romantic Egoists (1954)
  • Powers of Attorney (1963)
  • Tales of Manhattan (1967)
  • Second Chance: Tales of Two Generations (1970)
  • The Partners (1974)
  • The Winthrop Covenant (1976)
  • Narcissa and Other Fables (1982)
  • Skinny Island: More Tales of Manhattan (1987)
  • False Gods (1992)
  • Tales of Yesteryear (1994)
  • The Collected Stories of Louis Auchincloss (1994)
  • The Atonement and Other Stories (1997)
  • The Anniversary and Other Stories (1999)
  • Manhattan Monologues (2002)
  • The Young Apollo and Other Stories (2006)
  • The Friend of Women and Other Stories (2007)


  • Reflections of a Jacobite (1961)
  • Pioneers and Caretakers: A Study of Nine American Women Novelists (1965)
  • On Sister Carrie (1968)
  • Motiveless Malignity (1969)
  • Edith Wharton: A Woman in Her Time (1972)
  • Richelieu (1972)
  • A Writer's Capital (1974)
  • Reading Henry James (1975)
  • Life, Law, and Letters: Essays and Sketches (1979)
  • Persons of Consequence: Queen Victoria and Her Circle (1979)
  • False Dawn: Women in the Age of the Sun King (1985)
  • The Vanderbilt Era: Profiles of a Gilded Age (1989)
  • Love without Wings: Some Friendships in Literature and Politics (1991)
  • The Style's the Man: Reflections on Proust, Fitzgerald, Wharton, Vidal, and Others (1994)
  • The Man Behind the Book: Literary Profiles (1996)
  • Woodrow Wilson (Penguin Lives) (2000)
  • Theodore Roosevelt (The American Presidents Series) (2002)


  1. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/28/nyregion/28auchincloss.html
  2. ^ Gelderman, Carol (2007). Louis Auchincloss: A Writer's Life. Univ of South Carolina Press. p. 9. ISBN 9781570037115. http://books.google.com/books?id=t9jHCZsBR1oC. 
  3. ^ Birmingham, Stephen (1968). The Right People. Little, Brown. p. 326. http://books.google.com/books?id=Sg2xAAAAIAAJ. 
  4. ^ Buck, Albert H. (1909). The Bucks of Wethersfield, Connecticut. Stone Printing and Manufacturing Co.. pp. 120–3. http://books.google.com/books?id=DxE7AAAAMAAJ. 
  5. ^ [1] 1986 interview with Louis Auchincloss

External links




Author tags:

louis auchincloss

Your tags:


Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:
Someone said in an earlier post today that bad shit comes in threes. Well, sadly, Mr. Auchincloss has validated this notion with Howard Zinn and Salinger.
Yes, another sad loss this week. What a prolific and hard working writer....he will be missed. xox
I do not know much of this man. I appreciate you including his bio. I will check out his work. Thanks.
Thanks for noticing Auchincloss' passing. He was one of the greats.
Clark, as they say "when it rains, it pours."

Robin, I was really impressed at how many books he wrote over his lifetime--all of this while also being a lawyer much of the time, too.

Dr. Spudman, I hope you enjoy his books as much as my wife has!

Steve, while not the household name that Salinger was he certainly had a stellar reputation in the literary world.

Thanks everybody for your fine comments!!