Edward St Aubyn

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Edward St Aubyn
Edward St Aubyn in 2007.jpg
Born (1960-01-14) 14 January 1960 (age 63)
London, England
OccupationAuthor, journalist
EducationWestminster School
Alma materKeble College, Oxford
(m. 1987; div. 1990)

Edward St Aubyn (born 14 January 1960) is an English author and journalist. He is the author of ten novels, including notably the semi-autobiographical Patrick Melrose novels. In 2006, Mother's Milk was shortlisted for the Booker Prize.

Personal background and education[edit]

St Aubyn was born in 1960 in London, the son of Roger Geoffrey St Aubyn (1906–1985), a surgeon, and his second wife, Lorna Mackintosh (1929–2005). On his father's side, he is a great-great grandson of Sir Edward St Aubyn, 1st Baronet, and a great-nephew of John St Aubyn, 1st Baron St Levan.[1] On his mother's side, he is a grandson of Captain Alastair William Mackintosh of the Seaforth Highlanders,[citation needed] who was briefly married to Constance Talmadge 1926–1927),[2] and Lela Emery (later Duchess of Talleyrand), daughter of the American businessman John Josiah Emery, Sr. He is a great-nephew of John J. Emery, Jr. and Audrey Emery,[citation needed] wife of Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich of Russia.[3]

St Aubyn’s father was first married to Sophie Helene Freifrau von Puthon of Schloss Mirabell in Salzburg, whom he divorced in 1957. St Aubyn has two half-sisters by his father's first marriage, and an elder sister, Alexandra.[1] He grew up in London and France, where his family had houses.[4] He has described an unhappy childhood in which he was repeatedly raped by his sexually abusive father from the ages of 5 to 8, with the complicity of his mother.[4][5]

St Aubyn attended Sussex House[6] and then Westminster School. In 1979 he went on to read English at Keble College, Oxford. At the time a heroin addict, he graduated with a pass, the lowest possible class of degree.[4][7] He entered psychotherapy at the age of 25[citation needed] and subsequently became a professional writer.

From 1987 to 1990, St Aubyn was married to the author Nicola Shulman, now Marchioness of Normanby.[1] He has a son, Lucian, by Jane Longman, daughter of Lady Elizabeth Longman and Mark Longman, and a daughter, Eleanor St Aubyn, by another previous relationship.[citation needed] He lives in London.[citation needed]

Patrick Melrose series[edit]

Five of St Aubyn's novels, Never Mind, Bad News, Some Hope, Mother's Milk, and At Last, form The Patrick Melrose Novels, the first four of which were republished in a single volume in 2012, in anticipation of the fifth. They are based on the author's own life; the titular protagonist grows up in a highly dysfunctional upper-class English family, and deals with his father's sexual abuse, the deaths of both parents, alcoholism, heroin addiction and recovery, and marriage and parenthood.[8]

The books have been hailed as a powerful exploration of how emotional health can be carved out of childhood trauma.[9]

Mother's Milk was made into a feature film released in 2011. The screenplay was written by St Aubyn and director Gerald Fox. It stars Jack Davenport, Adrian Dunbar, Diana Quick, and Margaret Tyzack in her last performance.

In 2018 a five-part television series, Patrick Melrose was broadcast, a joint production of Showtime and Sky Atlantic. Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Patrick Melrose (with the young Patrick played by Sebastian Maltz), with each episode based on a different novel in the series. The series premiered on Showtime on 12 May 2018 to favourable reviews.[10]

Awards and honours[edit]


  • Never Mind. Picador USA. 1992. ISBN 9781447202936.
  • Bad News. Picador USA. 1992. ISBN 9781447202950.
  • Some Hope. Heinemann. 1994. ISBN 9781890447366.
  • On The Edge. Chatto & Windus. 1998. ISBN 978-1447253563.
  • A Clue to the Exit. Chatto & Windus. 2000. ISBN 0701169605.
  • Some Hope: A Trilogy. Grove Press, Open City Books. 2003. ISBN 1890447366.
  • Mother's Milk. Grove Press, Open City Books. 2005. ISBN 978-1890447403.
  • At Last. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 2012. ISBN 978-0374298890.
  • Lost for Words. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 2014. ISBN 9780374280291.
  • Dunbar. Hogarth Press. 2017. ISBN 9781101904282.
  • Double Blind. Harvill Secker. 2021. ISBN 9781787300255


  1. ^ a b c Mosley, Charles, ed. (2003). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage (107 ed.). London, England: Burke's Peerage. p. 3496. ISBN 0-9711966-2-1.
  2. ^ "Film Actress's Divorce Suit". The Times. London, England. 29 September 1927. p. 9.
  3. ^ "Former Husband of Film Actress to Wed". The Warren Tribune. Warren, Ohio: Ogden Newspapers Inc. 7 September 1928. p. 9.
  4. ^ a b c Brown, Mick (2 May 2014). "How writing helped Edward St Aubyn exorcise his demons". The Daily Telegraph. London, England. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
  5. ^ Moss, Stephen (17 August 2011). "Edward St Aubyn: 'Writing is horrible'". The Guardian. London, England. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
  6. ^ "Old Cadogans". Sussex House. Sussex House School. Retrieved 16 September 2022.
  7. ^ Parker, Ian (26 May 2014). "The Real Life of Edward St. Aubyn". The New Yorker. ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  8. ^ Kakutani, Michiko (21 February 2012). "Laying to Rest Familial Horrors: Edward St. Aubyn's 'At Last,' an Autobiographical Novel". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  9. ^ James, O.W. (2013). How to Achieve Emotional Health. London, England: Vermilion.
  10. ^ Villarreal, Yvonne (12 May 2018). "Benedict Cumberbatch takes on a dream role in Showtime's 'Patrick Melrose' — thanks to Reddit". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  11. ^ "Society of Authors' Awards | The Society of Authors". www.societyofauthors.org. 8 May 2020. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  12. ^ "Edward St. Aubyn – Official Website". Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  13. ^ "The Man Booker Prize 2006 | The Booker Prizes". thebookerprizes.com. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  14. ^ a b "edward-st-aubyn". RCW Literary Agency. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  15. ^ Lea, Richard. "Edward St Aubyn wins Wodehouse prize with a satire of literary awards". The Guardian. 19 May 2014.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]