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Aubrey de Sélincourt (7 June 1894 – December 1962) was an English writer, classical scholar and translator. Educated at the Dragon Schoolmarker and Rugby Schoolmarker, he won an open classical scholarship to University College, Oxfordmarker. He is best known for his translations (all for Penguin Classics) of Livy's The Early History of Rome (Books I to V) and The War with Hannibal (Books XXI to XXX), Herodotus's Histories, and Arrian's The Campaigns of Alexander.

De Sélincourt served with the North Staffordshire Regiment at Gallipoli and later as a pilot in 25 Squadron RFC. On 28 May 1917, he was shot down, while flying an FE2d, by Werner Voss, becoming the latter's 31st victory and a prisoner of war for the remainder of the First World War (Diggens 2003:57).

Aubrey de Sélincourt taught as a master at the Dragon Schoolmarker, Oxfordmarker, then as Headmaster at Clayesmore Schoolmarker, Dorsetmarker, followed by master at Bryanston Schoolmarker, Dorset. He also wrote for the Manchester Guardian and the English Review.

After retiring in 1947, de Sélincourt settled in the Isle of Wightmarker, and devoted himself to writing. He died there in 1962.


De Sélincourt's father Martin was a successful businessman, owning the Swan & Edgar store in London. de Sélincourt was brother-in-law to A. A. Milne, who married his sister Dorothy. In 1919, de Sélincourt married the English poet Irene Rutherford McLeod from Croydon, Surrey . Their daughter Lesley married Christopher Robin Milne. He had another daughter, Anne.

His uncle, Henry Fieness Speed, was the author of 'Cruises in Small Yachts and Big Canoes', first printed in 1883.

He suffered from some degree of ill health, not ameliorated by Clayesmore School's financial difficulties. At Clayesmore, his brother Guy was Bursar. Both had sailing among their recreations.


  • Streams of Ocean (1923) essays
  • Isle of Wight (1933)
  • Family Afloat (1944)
  • Six O'clock and After and Other Rhymes for Children (1945) with Irene de Sélincourt
  • One More Summer (1946)
  • Calicut Lends a Hand (1946)
  • Dorset (1947) Vision of England series
  • Micky (1947)
  • Three Green Bottles (1941)
  • A Capful of Wind (1948)
  • One Good Tern (1943)
  • The Young Schoolmaster (1948)
  • Kestrel (1949)
  • Sailing: A Guide For Everyman (1949)
  • The Raven's Nest (1949)
  • Mr Oram's Story. The adventures of Capt. James Cook (1949)
  • The Schoolmaster (1951)
  • On Reading Poetry (1952)
  • The Channel Shore (1953)
  • Herodotus, The Histories (1954) translator
  • Cat's Cradle (1955)
  • Odysseus the Wanderer (1956)
  • Six Great Poets: Chaucer, Pope, Wordsworth, Shelley, Tennyson, The Brownings (1956)
  • Nansen (1957)
  • Six Great Englishmen: Drake, Dr. Johnson, Nelson, Marlborough, Keats, Churchill (1957)
  • The Early History of Rome: Books I-V of the History of Rome from Its Foundation, by Titus Livy (1960) translator
  • The Book of the Sea (1961) editor
  • Arrian's Life of Alexander the Great (1962) translator
  • The World of Herodotus (1962)
  • The War with Hannibal : Books XXI-XXX of the History of Rome from its Foundation, by Livy (1965) translator
  • Six Great Playwrights (1974)


  • Anon (1962) The Times obituary December 22 1962
  • Diggens, B. (2003) September Evening: The Life and Final Combat of the German Ace Werner Voss. Grub Street, London.
  • Herodotus. The Histories. Aubrey de Sélincourt, translator. London: Penguin, 1954.
  1. English Birth Index Croydon 1891 Oct - Dec V2a P194

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