Louis Auchincloss

Louis Auchincloss

Franklin Library Louis Auchincloss books

Diary of a Yuppie - signed first edition - 1986
Exit Lady Masham - signed first edition -1983
The Rector of Justin - signed limited edition - 1977
The Winthrop Covenant - limited first edition -1976

Louis Auchincloss biography

Louis Auchincloss (1917-2010) was an American novelist, lawyer, and cultural commentator, known for his insightful depictions of the American upper class. Born on September 27, 1917, in Lawrence, New York, Auchincloss came from a wealthy and socially prominent family, which provided him with a firsthand understanding of the world he would later explore in his writing. Auchincloss attended Groton School, an elite preparatory institution, and then Yale University, where he studied English literature. Following his graduation in 1939, he pursued law at the University of Virginia Law School and subsequently joined a prestigious New York law firm, Sullivan & Cromwell. Auchincloss had a successful legal career, rising to become a partner in the firm, all the while maintaining a parallel passion for literature.

In the realm of letters, Auchincloss gained acclaim for his novels and short stories, which often delved into the complexities and nuances of the American upper class. His writing style was elegant and sophisticated, capturing the manners, morals, and conflicts of the privileged society to which he belonged. Some of his notable works include The Rector of Justin (1964), The House of Five Talents (1960), and The Embezzler (1966).

Auchincloss's literary output was prolific, with more than 60 books to his name, spanning novels, short stories, and non-fiction. Beyond his exploration of social class, his works also reflected a keen interest in history and politics. He often depicted the moral dilemmas faced by his characters as they navigated a rapidly changing American landscape. In addition to his writing and legal career, Auchincloss served as the president of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His contributions to literature earned him numerous awards, including the National Medal of Arts in 2005. Auchincloss continued to write well into his later years, leaving a lasting legacy as a chronicler of the American upper class.

Louis Auchincloss passed away on January 26, 2010, in New York City. His body of work remains a valuable and insightful commentary on the intricacies of American society, offering readers a window into a world that was both familiar and elusive.

Diary of a Yuppie

In the deft and chilling novel Diary of a Yuppie, Louis Auchincloss masterfully unveils the narrative of Bob Service, a thirty-two-year-old crack lawyer whose ambition knows no bounds. Set against the backdrop of contemporary New York City, this gripping tale delves into the murky depths of ambition, greed, and the ruthless pursuit of power. Bob Service epitomizes the modern-day yuppie—driven, ruthless, and unapologetically ambitious. His blood runs as cold and clear as a five-dollar martini, and his morals are ever tempered by expediency. For Bob, power is the ultimate deity, and he is willing to sacrifice anything and anyone to attain it.

Despite his seemingly perfect marriage to the graceful and intelligent Alice, Bob's corporate drive knows no bounds. His insatiable appetite for success leads him into an explosive affair with Sylvia, whose naked ambition matches his own. Through her social connections, Bob sees a bridge to the pinnacles of success that far exceed an imminent partnership in a big New York law firm. As Bob Service marches toward his fate, he leaves a trail of destruction in his wake, trampling on his associates and crippling his marriage in the relentless pursuit of his goals. Office intrigue and duels for power rival anything that Machiavelli could have conjured up, and Auchincloss's narrative drips with an unnervingly authentic ring.

Louis Auchincloss, drawing from his own experiences as a lawyer, infuses Diary of a Yuppie with a keen understanding of the inner workings of big law firms and the cutthroat nature of corporate culture. With thirty-eight books under his belt, Auchincloss is a master storyteller whose portrayal of modern mores and life on the fast track resonates with authenticity. Diary of a Yuppie stands as a compelling testament to the allure and perils of ambition in the contemporary world. Through Bob Service's journey, readers are confronted with the stark realities of success and the sacrifices it demands. In the end, Auchincloss leaves us questioning the true cost of ambition and whether the pursuit of power is worth the price of our humanity.

Exit Lady Masham

Exit Lady Masham is a historical novel by Louis Auchincloss, a master chronicler of the American upper class. Published in 1983, this work is a departure from Auchincloss's usual contemporary settings, immersing readers in the intrigues of 18th-century England. Set against the backdrop of Queen Anne's reign, Exit Lady Masham unveils a world of political maneuvering, personal ambition, and shifting allegiances. The novel centers around the character of Abigail Masham, a real historical figure who rose from relative obscurity to become a confidante of the queen.

Auchincloss deftly weaves together fact and fiction, breathing life into the characters and events of the period. Through Abigail's eyes, readers are transported to the corridors of power at Kensington Palace, where rival factions vie for influence over the queen's affections and decisions. Exit Lady Masham is a tale of ambition and betrayal, as Abigail navigates the treacherous waters of court politics. From her humble beginnings as a chambermaid, she ascends to a position of prominence, only to find herself entangled in a web of jealousy and intrigue. Auchincloss's prose is richly detailed, capturing the opulence and opaqueness of the era with precision. His meticulous research and vivid imagination bring to life the personalities and power struggles of Queen Anne's court, offering readers a tantalizing glimpse into a bygone era.

Exit Lady Masham is a timeless exploration of human nature and the pursuit of power. Auchincloss's portrayal of Abigail Masham resonates with themes of ambition, loyalty, and moral compromise, inviting readers to ponder the complexities of personal integrity in the face of political expediency.

In Auchincloss's extensive literary oeuvre, Exit Lady Masham stands as a testament to his storytelling prowess and his ability to breathe life into the past. Through his captivating narrative, Auchincloss reminds us that the echoes of history continue to reverberate in the present, shaping our understanding of ourselves and our world.


Louis Auchincloss signed

The Rector of Justin

The Rector of Justin is a compelling portrait of a revered headmaster and his prestigious New England prep school. Through the eyes of a former student turned biographer, readers delve into the enigmatic life of Justin Clay, a man whose influence extends far beyond the ivy-covered walls of his institution. Set against the backdrop of post-war America, this novel explores themes of ambition, power, and the complexities of moral leadership. Auchincloss's masterful prose and keen insights make The Rector of Justin a timeless exploration of the human condition and the enduring legacy of those who shape young minds.

The Winthrop Covenant

The Winthrop Covenant by Louis Auchincloss is a captivating tale of ambition, family, and the weight of legacy. Set in the esteemed halls of Harvard University, the novel follows the Winthrop family, whose illustrious lineage stretches back through generations of academic excellence. When Nathaniel Winthrop, a brilliant young scholar, becomes embroiled in a scandal that threatens to tarnish his family's reputation, the bonds of loyalty and honor are put to the test. Against the backdrop of Ivy League academia, Auchincloss weaves a rich tapestry of intrigue, betrayal, and redemption. The Winthrop Covenant is a gripping exploration of the price of privilege and the enduring power of family ties.


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