Biography: A Very Short Introduction

Paperback | August 2, 2009

byHermione Lee

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Biography is one of the most popular, best-selling, and widely-read of literary genres. But 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 besubjective? In this Very Short Introduction Hermione Lee considers the cultural and historical background of different types of biographies, looking at the factors that affect biographers and whether there are different strategies, ethics, and principles required for writing about one person compared toanother. She also considers contemporary biographical publications and considers what kind of 'lives' are the most popular and in demand.

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Biography is one of the most popular, best-selling, and widely-read of literary genres. But 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 per...

Hermoine Lee is a well-known literary biographer, author of critical studies of Elizabeth Bowen, Willa Cather, and Philip Roth. She has also written major biographies of Virginia Woolf (1996), and Edith Wharton (2007), a selection of which was published by Princeton University Press as Virginia Woolf's Nose (2005). From 1998 to 2008 s...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:144 pages, 6.85 × 4.37 × 0.02 inPublished:August 2, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199533547

ISBN - 13:9780199533541

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Table of Contents

1. The Biography Channel2. Exemplary Lives3. Warts and All4. National Biography5. Fallen Idols6. Against Biography7. Public Roles8. Telling the Story