hotspots: "w. h. auden - family ghosts"
The pages listed below provide links to some of the more famous, significant and/or notorious individuals and inter-relationships diagrammed in the "W. H. Auden: Family Ghosts" genealogical database.
Using these links, it is possible to see rapidly how Auden's family, especially on its maternal side, was profoundly entrenched in particular sectors of the "Intellectual Aristocracy" which Noel Annan identified as a fundamental presence in late 19th century and early 20th century British cultural life. (See N. G. Annan, "The Intellectual Aristocracy" in J. H. Plumb, ed., Studies in Social History: A Tribute to G. M. Trevelyan (London: Longmans, Green, 1955), 243-87.) Annan pointed to the densely developed family networks which linked Whig intellectuals with such prestigious names as Trevelyan, Macaulay and Stephen. Extending Annan's point, it is possible to see how even amongst less well-known families of the intellectual and financial elites existing connections helped to structure individual lives.
But the links below also take one back much further than the nineteenth century. It has been possible to trace Auden's family connections to figures as historically remote as Cerdic, the first King of the West Saxons, and Charlemagne, Emperor of Frankish Europe in the 8th century.
Inevitably, given the multi-dimensional nature of all lives, several names occur on more than one list.
- Auden and Authors, Intellectuals, Artists (as well as Five Famous Literary Subjects or Addressees)
- Auden and Doctors, Inventors and Scientists
- Auden and English/British Royalty
- Auden and Non-English/British Leaders and Royalty
- Auden and Administrators, Lawyers, Businesspeople
- Auden and Saints, a Pope, Archbishops and Cardinals
- Auden and Politicians, Political Figures
- Auden and Military Figures, Adventurers and Crusaders
- War within family -- Harold II of England (I2472), killed in 1066 by an archer in the Norman army of his relation William the Conqueror (I1284)
- Martyrology -- Protestant Sir Francis Walsingham (I2365), Elizabeth I's spy-master, responsible in 1586 for the entrapment and brutal death of his distant Catholic relation, Charles Tilney (I3677)
- Revolutionary feuding -- Charles I (I2967) and his nemesis and sixth cousin, Oliver Cromwell (I3587)
- Royalty's Romany heritage -- gypsy Sineta Smith (I2549) and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (I2105)
- Literary ancestry -- George Eliot [Marian Evans] (I3509) and her idol, Henry Fielding (I1744)
- Poet-relations buried in the same grave -- Geoffrey Chaucer (I2248) and John Dryden (I4424)
- Soldier titans -- the Duke of Wellington (I2007) and US General Winfield Scott (I4334)
- Military apples and daydream oranges -- the Duke of Wellington (I2007) and Lewis Carroll's inspiration, Alice Liddell (I2053)
- Dead by the half-way point -- George Herbert (I4100) and the Princess of Wales (I1976)
Note: The distant family relationship of this database's compiler, Nicholas Jenkins (I5221), to W. H. Auden (I5) is diagrammed here.