Living Descendants of Famous Writers

alex atkins bookshelf triviaIt fascinating to think that there are living descendants of famous writers still living among us. Understandably, some live in obscurity to avoid the prying lens of the media, but some are quite proud of their lineage. Here are a few famous relatives of famous writers. Do you know of any more?

Louis Victoria Tolstoy (born 1974), who goes by the stage name Viktoria Tolstoy, is a popular Swedish jazz singer. She is the great-great-grandaughter of legendary Russian author Leo Tolstoy (1828 – 1910), best known for his lengthy novels War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877). The other great-great-grandaughter is Alexandra Tolstoy who is a socialite, providing fodder for the British tabloids. Tolstoy was married to Sophia (Sonya) Andreevna Behrs; together they had 13 children; however, only eight of them survived childhood.

Richard Melville Hall (born 1965), who goes by the stage name of Moby, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and DJ. He is best known for his electronica and house-music influenced work. In an interview, Moby stated that Herman Melville was his great-great-great-grand uncle. Herman Melville (1819-1891) magnum opus, Moby Dick, is considered one of the Great American Novels. Melville married Elizabeth Knapp Shaw and they had four children.

Mark Charles Dickens is the leading supporter of the Charles Dickens Museum in London. He is the great-great-grandson of Charles Dickens and is considered the head of the Dickens family of direct descendants. To date, there are more than 300 living descendants of Charles Dickens (1812-1870). In February 2014, 40 Dickens descendants gathered in Portsmouth, the city where Dickens was born, for the unveiling of a life-size bronze sculpture honoring his 202nd birthday. Several of his great great great grandchildren gathered around the bronze statue for the obligatory selfies, including Tom Dickens, Lydia Dickens, and Oliver Dickens. The youngest descendent to attend the event was Joe Robinson, who is the author’s great-great-great-great-grandson. There are several authors in the family: Monica Dickens (great-granddaughter) has writing more than 30 novels and Lucinda Dickens Hawksley (great great great granddaughter) has published several bestselling nonfiction works. Mark’s nephew, Harry Lloyd, is an actor and has appeared in Game of Thrones and Robin Hood. Charles Dickens was married to Catherine (Kate) Thomson Hogarth and had 10 children.

Michael Tolkien, a children’s book writer, is grandson of J.R.R. Tolkien(1892-1973), best known for the popular fantasy novels The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Mariel Hemingway is an actress and model; she is the granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), legendary author of The Old Man and the Sea and The Sun Also Rises.

Christopher Merlin Vyvyan Holland is a Oscar Wilde scholar and editor of The Complete Letters of Oscar Wilde. He is the only grandson of Irish playwright and poet Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), best known for The Importance of Being Earnest and The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Anna Chancellor is an actress who plays Caroline Bingley in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. She is the high-times great niece of Jane Austen (1775-1817), author of the aforementioned adaptation, Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park, and Emma.

Benjamin Cheever and Susan Cheever are both successful writers. They are the children of American author John Cheever (1912-1982), best known for his short stories and the four novels that make up The Wapshot Chronicle.

Canadian Dacre Stoker, author of Dracula: The Undead, is the great-grand nephew of Irish author Bram Stoker (1847-1912 ) who wrote one of the most famous gothic novels, Dracula.

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Read related posts: Words Invented by Famous Authors
Words Invented by Dickens
Literary Feuds: Faulkner and Hemingway
William Faulkner on the Writer’s Duty
Daily Rituals of Writers: William Faulkner

2 responses to “Living Descendants of Famous Writers

  • Pam

    Hi. I found this article about the descendants of famous writers when looking for information about Charles Dickens. I have to add to your list. I am friends with the great granddaughter of Robert Frost. She had two brothers, and one sister, the namesake brother is now deceased. If you want more information you may contact me..

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