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Auden and Authors, Intellectuals, Artists (as well as Five Famous Literary Subjects or Addressees)

Auden told an interviewer at Swarthmore in 1943 that 'He had an uncle who wrote a large book on sulfuric acid [Dr. Harold Allden Auden (I37)], and a cousin, living in Toronto, who writes Latin grammars [Prof. Henry William Auden (I189), technically a cousin once removed], but outside of them no literary talent exists or existed in his family.' Quite apart from aggressively ignoring the copious writings of his own father, George Augustus Auden (I1), this statement omits mention any of the numerous literary and artistic figures to whom Auden was in fact related. It is impossible to tell whether Auden simply did not know about these links or, perhaps less likely but still in some cases possible, whether he unconsciously wanted to project himself as a one-off, the sole significant artist to have emerged from his family.

On all these 'Hotspots' pages, the 'I' number within parentheses following each name indicates the unique number assigned to the person in the 'Family Ghosts' database; a search on that number will produce the full record for that person. Numerous brief biographies for all individuals mentioned on this page are available on the Web and so, with exceptions, detailed personal histories are not given in 'Family Ghosts'.

Clicked on, the links listed will produce a diagram of the directest relation between the individual in question and Auden, including those constructed through marriage or (in genealogical jargon) 'connection', that is out-of-wedlock relationships. Limitations of the software used make it impossible to differentiate visually in these 'Relationship Charts' between marriages and connections. In these charts, all sexual relationships which produced children are subsumed under the rubric of marriage. No moral point is attached to this enforced generalization, and in all cases fuller, more accurate descriptions of the nature of the relationship(s) diagrammed are given in the records for the individuals concerned.

Individuals are ordered into a list here by date of death and, for convenience, segregated into centuries by the same criterion.


12th century

William IX of Aquitaine [Guilhem IX de Peitieus] (I2595), 1071-1126, the first troubadour poet, Auden was his 24 times great grandson; relation to Auden


13th century

Pero Gómez Barroso (I5526), Galician-Portuguese troubadour poet; relation to Auden


15th century

Geoffrey Chaucer (I2248), 1343-1400, poet; relation to Auden -- another connection between Chaucer and Auden exists thus: Chaucer was the brother-in-law of Katherine de Roët (I2244), the wife of John of Gaunt (I1269) (see here) and Auden was the 17 times great nephew of John of Gaunt (see here)

Pero López de Ayala (I5306), 1332-1407, Castilian poet and statesman; relation to Auden

Charles of Orleans (I2988), 1394-1465, poet, Auden was his fifth cousin 17 times removed; relation to Auden

Iñigo López de Mendoza, marqués de Santillana (I5655), 1398-1458, Castilian poet; relation to Auden


16th century

Gavin Douglas (I2880), 1474-1522, poet; relation to Auden

John Bourchier, Lord Berners (I1256), 1467-1532, translator of Froissart’s Chronicles, Auden was his 12 times great grandson; relation to Auden

Garcilaso de la Vega (I5659), 1501-1536, poet; relation to Auden

Henry Howard (I595), 1517-1547, poet; relation to Auden

Marguerite of Navarre (I2985), 1492-1549, author and patron, sister of Francis I of France, Auden was her seventh cousin 15 times removed; relation to Auden

Thomas Vaux (I558), 1509-1556, poet; relation to Auden

Philip Sidney (I2367), 1554-1586, poet; relation to Auden


17th century

Three faux-Shakespeares: Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford (I2941), 1550-1604; relation to Auden -- de Vere's first wife, Anne Cecil (I2942), was a cousin of another main candidate for Shakespearean pseudonymity, Francis Bacon (I1797; see also below), 1561-1626; relation to Auden; Auden was the second cousin 10 times removed of another, and the latest, such candidate, Sir Henry Neville (I3772), 1562-1615; relation to Auden

Edmund Tilney (I3662), 1535-1610, Master of the Revels and thus the official who oversaw the Elizabethan and Jacobean stage in London, Auden was his third cousin 13 times removed; relation to Auden

Walter Ralegh (I3757), 1554-1618, courtier, writer, adventurer; relation to Auden

Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke (I2952), 1561-1621; relation to Auden

George Buck (I3683), 1560-1622, Master of the King's Revels during the Jacobean period; relation to Auden -- Edmund Tilney (I3662; see above), the previous Master of the Revels, to whom Auden was also related, had a cousin, Francis (or Frederick) Tilney (I3673), who was married to Sir George Buck's aunt, Margaret Buc (I3674)

Francis Bacon (I1797), 1561-1626, author, Auden was the 10 times great grandson of Sir Nicholas Bacon (I1791), Sir Francis Bacon's father; relation to Auden

George Herbert (I4100), 1593-1633, poet -- Lady Mary Egerton (I4095), Auden's sixth cousin 10 times removed, was the wife of Herbert's nephew Richard Herbert (I4094); relation to Auden

John Suckling (I1903), 1609-1641, poet; relation to Auden

Edward Herbert, 1st Baron Herbert of Cherbury (I4096), 1583-1648, poet, philosopher, diplomat; relation to Auden

Mary Wroth (I2895), 1587-1651, poet; relation to Auden

Margaret Cavendish (I4544), ca. 1623-1673, writer; relation to Auden

Anne Bradstreet (I5558), 1612-1672, poet, Auden was her ninth cousin nine times removed; relation to Auden

Henry Herbert (I4129), 1594-1673, Master of the Revels; relation to Auden

Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon (I3373), 1609-1674, historian; relation to Auden

John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester (I3417), 1647-1680, poet; relation to Auden

Thomas Killigrew (I3825), 1612-1683, playwright; relation to Auden

Anne Killigrew (I3834), 1660-1685, poet; relation to Auden

John Dryden, (I4424), 1631-1700, poet, dramatist; relation to Auden; Auden was also the fifth cousin eight times removed of Lady Elizabeth Howard (I4423), ca. 1638-1714, the wife of Dryden -- see here (see as well Jonathan Swift below)


18th century

Samuel Pepys (I1787), 1633-1703, diarist; relation to Auden

Jonathan Swift (I4437), 1667-1745, satirist; relation to Auden (noteworthy also is that Dryden (I4424), see above, and Swift (I4437) were second cousins once removed: see here)

Henry Fielding (I1744), 1707-1754, novelist; relation to Auden

Mary Wortley Montagu (I1711), 1689-1762, author; relation to Auden

Edward Young (I3530), 1683-1765, poet of Night-Thoughts; relation to Auden -- the pious Young married the granddaughter of the half-brother of the debauched Earl of Rochester (I3417; see above)

John Laurens Bicknell (I399), 1746-1787, abolitionist poet, Auden was his three times great nephew; relation to Auden

Horace Walpole (I1883), 1717-1797, author and artistic patron; relation to Auden

Mary Wollstonecraft (I4983), 1759-1797, author; relation to Auden


19th century

James Woodhouse (I345), 1735-1820, rural poet, Auden was his first cousin four times removed; relation to Auden -- NB Woodhouse is the only relation of all those listed on these "Hotspots" pages to come from Dr. Auden's side of the family and not from that of his wife, Constance Bicknell

Benjamin West (I4045), 1738-1820, history painter; relation to Auden

Percy Bysshe Shelley (I4499), 1792-1822, poet, Auden was his 16th cousin, three times removed; relation to Auden

George Gordon, Lord Byron (I4852), 1788-1824, poet, Auden was his 16th cousin four times removed; relation to Auden (Shelley (I4499) and Byron (I4852) were 17th cousins twice removed: see here)

Walter Scott (I1596), 1771-1832, novelist; relation to Auden

William Godwin (I4980), 1756-1836, philosopher and novelist; relation to Auden

John Constable (I75), 1776-1837, painter; relation to Auden

Theodore Edward Hook (I3900), 1788-1841, Tory essayist, hoaxer, literary enemy of Leigh Hunt (and ultimately his brother-in-law); relation to Auden

Mary Shelley (I4994), 1797-1851, writer; relation to Auden

Leigh Hunt (I3437), 1784-1859, radical essayist, literary enemy of Theodore Hook (and ultimately his brother-in-law); relation to Auden

G. H. Lewes (I3508), 1817-1877, essayist; relation to Auden

George Eliot [Marian Evans] (I3509), 1819-1880, novelist; relation to Auden

Samuel Laurence (I1219), 1812-1884, Victorian portrait painter; relation to Auden -- Laurence's son-in-law was Sir George Scott Robertson, a medical administrator in India; Sir George's first wife had been Catherine Edith Birch, the third cousin of Auden's mother

Richard Burton (I4723), 1820-1891, explorer and author; relation to Auden


20th century

E. A. Mackintosh (I5273), 1893-1917, First World War poet; relation to Auden

W. S. Blunt (I5247), 1840-1922, poet and adventurer; relation to Auden

Klaus Mann (I16), 1906-1949, writer, Auden was his brother-in-law; relation to Auden

Lord Berners (I1854), 1883-1950, author and musician, Auden was his eighth cousin; relation to Auden

Thomas Mann (I8), 1875-1955, novelist, Auden was his son-in-law; relation to Auden

Dorothy Wellesley (I2014), 1889-1956, poet, editor, friend of Yeats; relation to Auden -- Auden referred to her as "Dotty Wellesley"

Winston Churchill (I2135), 1874-1965, author and politician; relation to Auden

Charlotte Franken (I1607), 1894-1969, author and journalist; relation to Auden

Erika Mann (I6), 1905-1969, writer and cabaret artist, Auden was her husband; relation to Auden

James Pope-Hennessy (I173), 1916-1974, biographer, Auden was his second cousin; relation to Auden

Chester Kallman (I681), 1921-1975, poet and librettist, Auden was his companion; relation to Auden

E. F. Schumacher (I741), 1911-1977, economist; relation to Auden

Golo Mann (I17), 1909-1994, writer, Auden was his brother-in-law; relation to Auden

John Pope-Hennessy (I172), 1913-1994, art historian, Auden was his second cousin; relation to Auden

Naomi Mitchison (1580), 1897-1999, author; relation to Auden

Lesley Blanch (I1505), 1904-2007, historian; relation to Auden


Literary "subjects"

Byrhtnoth (I2448), about 930-956, an ealdorman of Essex whose bravery was commemorated in the Anglo-Saxon poem The Battle of Maldon, Auden was his 31 times great nephew; relation to Auden

Malcolm III of Scotland (I1296), 1031-1093, killer of the usurping king Macbeth, as dramatized by Shakespeare in Macbeth, Auden was his 25 times great grandson; relation to Auden

Mary Butler, Duchess of Ormonde (I3966), 1665-1733; relation to Auden -- Auden wrote in his lecture "Making, Knowing and Judging" that one of the four questions with which he would test any critic is whether that person likes, "and by like I mean really like, not approve of on principle.... Conscious theatrical exaggeration, pieces of baroque flattery like Dryden’s welcome to the Duchess of Ormonde" ["To Her Grace the Dutchess of Ormond, With the following Poem of Palamon and Arcite, From Chaucer"]

Joseph Bell (I2379), 1837-1911, forensic scientist, the model for Conan Doyle's character Sherlock Holmes; relation to Auden

Alice Liddell (I2053), 1852-1934, the model for "Alice" of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; relation to Auden


©2008 Nicholas Jenkins