Biography: A Very Short Introduction
Hermione Lee is one of the leading literary biographers in the English-speaking world, the author of widely acclaimed lives of Edith Wharton and Virginia Woolf. Now, in this Very Short Introduction, Lee provides a magnificent look at the genre in which she is an undisputed master--the art of biography. Here Lee considers the cultural and historical background of different types of biographies, looks at the factors that affect biographers, and asks whether there are different strategies, ethics, and principles required for writing about one person compared to another. She also discusses contemporary biographical publications and considers what kind of "lives" are the most popular and in demand. And along the way, she answers such questions as why do certain people and historical events arouse so much interest? How can biographies be compared with history and works of fiction? Does a biography need to be true? Is it acceptable to omit or conceal things? Does the biographer need to personally know the subject? Must a biographer be subjective?
About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - carl.rollyson - LibraryThing
This is a competent survey of biography by one of the contemporary masters of the genre. But it is rather dull and surprisingly textbook-like, lacking the verve and sweep of Nigel Hamilton’s recent ... Read full review
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19th-century anecdotes argued artist authentic autobiography behaviour biography’s Boswell Boswell’s Carlyle century character Charlotte Brontė Chatto & Windus cited Claire Tomalin classical Coleridge collections conversation cultural death eccentric Edel Edmund Edmund Gosse Elizabeth Elizabeth Gaskell English essays ethics example exemplary Faber famous father fiction France and St Freud Gaskell Gaskell’s genre Gosse hagiography Henry James hero human Ian Hamilton Jane Austen Jean Strouse Jefferson 2007 Jenny Uglow John Johnson Joyce Julian Barnes kind Leslie Stephen letters life-stories life-writing literary Lives Margaret Oliphant Marilyn Maurois memoir Michael moral narrative Nelson Nicolson novelist numbers Oxford University Press Penguin person philosopher Plutarch poets political popular portrait psychoanalysis public figures published Richard Robert saints sexual Shakespeare Shostakovich social St Clair Stalin story Strachey Strachey’s telling Thomas TopFoto.co.uk truth versions Virginia Woolf W. H. Auden William Wittgenstein woman women writing written wrote