Auchincloss, Louis

Auchincloss, Louis

Auchincloss, Louis (Louis Stanton Auchincloss) (ôˈkĭnklŏs), 1917–2010, American novelist and man of letters, b. Lawrence, New York; studied Yale, Univ. of Virginia Law School (LL.B., 1941). A member of a prominent New York family, he was a prolific writer with more than 60 titles to his credit and a full-time Wall Street lawyer until his retirement in 1987. His business experience and social background are reflected in his polished novels of manners, which mainly relate the concerns of well-to-do and well-connected white Protestants, and in his fiction's recurring emphasis on matters of class and morality. His first novel was published under a pseudonym in 1947. His subsequent novels include The Romantic Egoists (1954), Venus in Sparta (1958), The Rector of Justin (1964; widely regarded as his finest novel), The Embezzler (1966), The Partners (1974), The Dark Lady (1977), Watchfires (1982), Honorable Men (1985), East Side Story (2004), and his final book, The Last of the Old Guard (2008), whose title might have accurately described its author. He also wrote Reflections of a Jacobite (1961), on Henry James, Edith Wharton: A Biography (1971), Richelieu (1972), Woodrow Wilson (2000), and Theodore Roosevelt (2001) as well as literary essays and short stories; The Collected Stories of Louis Auchincloss was published in 1994.


See his memoirs, A Writer's Capital (1974) and A Voice from Old New York (2010); biography by C. W. Gelderman (1993, rev. ed. 2007); studies by C. C. Dahl (1986), D. B. Parsell (1988), and V. Piket (1991).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

Auchincloss, Louis (Stanton)

(1917–  ) lawyer, writer; born in Lawrence, N.Y. From New York's upper class, he moved easily through Groton, Yale, and law school. After World War II service with the U.S. Navy, he took up a career as a Wall Street lawyer, a profession he continued to pursue while also gaining a reputation as a writer in the tradition of Henry James. His many civilized and well-crafted novels and short stories are psychological and moral dramas played out among New York's old-money elite.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
"Dinner party at Louis and Adele Auchincloss, Louis so bright and cheery, always primed for cordial interchange and Adele with the mysteriously bad teeth for a Vanderbilt, with that extraordinary sweetness and presentability of the very, very rich." Elsewhere, "George Kennan, noble, solemn, aggrieved; the composer Milton Babbitt writhing like a cornered boxer; Karl Shapiro very wistful and out of it." And again, "Bellow came on with his eyes confronting you.