Public and Private Discourses, 1960–3

  • Vincent Piket
Part of the New Directions in American Studies book series


The House of Five Talents, published in September 1960, is a novel in the form of a family memoir. It is written by Augusta — ‘Gussie’ — Milliner, a granddaughter of the business tycoon Julius Millinder, a German-Jewish immigrant who upon his death in 1886 left behind a fortune of around $100 million. Julius Millinder’s death forms the starting-point of Gussie’s memoir. She is not concerned with the tycoon himself and the making of his fortune: his biography has already been written by another member of the family. Instead, her concern is with his descendants, with their inheritance of the Millinder fortune, and with the social and psychological destiny that results from the possession of that money.


Social Life Social Morality Private Discourse Social Prominence York Society 
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  1. 1.
    Auchincloss, The House of Five Talents (Boston, Mass.: Houghton Mifflin, 1960) p. 3.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    For a discussion of this aspect, see Christopher C. Dahl, Louis Auchincloss, Literature and Life Series, American Writers (New York: Ungar, 1986) pp. 68–9.Google Scholar
  3. 7.
    See Iola Haverstick, ‘The Author’, Saturday Review, XLV (14 July 1962) 21.Google Scholar
  4. 9.
    Auchincloss, Portrait in Brownstone (Boston, Mass.: Houghton Mifflin, 1962) p. 7.Google Scholar
  5. 11.
    Cf. ‘Edith Wharton’, in Auchincloss, Pioneers and Caretakers: A Study of Nine American Women Novelists (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1965) pp. 42–5Google Scholar
  6. and Auchincloss, Edith Wharton: A Woman in her Time (London: Michael Joseph, 1971) pp. 128–39.Google Scholar
  7. 12.
    Cf. Vincent Piket, ‘An Interview with Louis Auchincloss’, Dutch Quarterly Review, XVIII, no. 1 (1988) 23.Google Scholar

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© Vincent Piket 1991

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  • Vincent Piket

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