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Louis Auchincloss

(1917—2010)


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(1917–2010),

graduate of Yale with a law degree from the University of Virginia, was a New York lawyer whose polished fiction about high society began with several volumes issued under the pseudonym Andrew Lee. His novels include The Indifferent Children (1947), about a dilettante during World War II; Sybil (1952), portraying an Edith Wharton kind of heroine; A Law for the Lion (1953; The Romantic Egoists (1954), stories told by one character; The Great World and Timothy Colt, (1956), about a disillusioned New York lawyer; Venus in Sparta (1958) and Pursuit of the Prodigal (1959), portraying different kinds of rich, upper-class New Yorkers who leave their wives and move out of their usual world; The House of Five Talents (1960), tracing one of his kind of family from 1873 to 1948; Portrait in Brownstone (1962), about a New York society woman; The Rector of Justin (1964), a study of the founding headmaster of an Episcopalian boys' school in New England; The Embezzler (1966), about a socialite who misappropriates some bonds; A World of Profit (1968), presenting a young Jewish entrepreneur of New York and the WASP family whose estates he buys; A Writer's Capital (1974), characterizing a lawyer who comes to write satires of the elite; The Dark Lady (1977), presenting a social climber in New York; Watchfires (1982), treating the values and standards of an upper-class New York lawyer during the Civil War era; and The Book Class (1984), about a group of upper-class women who meet for monthly luncheons and literary discussion throughout their lives. Stories with similar themes have appeared in several volumes beginning with The Injustice Collectors (1950). He also wrote books on Henry James (1961 and 1975), Shakespeare (1969), Edith Wharton (1971), and Richelieu (1973), and False Dawn (1984), on women in the 18th century. Life, Law and Letters (1979) collects essays and sketches.

Subjects: Literature.


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