Reflections on Biography

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, 1999 - Biography & Autobiography - 289 pages
Reflections on Biography, written by the author of an award-winning life of Daniel Defoe, is an invitation to turn 'biography' over in the mind as we turn an artefact in our hands. Intended for all readers of biographyDSlifelong or occasional, critical or casualDSit examines the subject frommany angles, and gives a tour of the decisions biographers make and the implications of those choices. Its aim is to increase the pleasure of reading biographies, to add new, enjoyable dimensions even as it increases readers' insights into the art of writing them. Among the biographies given specialattention are prize-winning lives of writers, mathematical geniuses, intellectual women, the Roosevelts, and unusual marriage partners. The book is full of lively comparisons, for instance, of Keats by Walter Jackson Bate, Andrew Motion, and others, and of a century of biographies of EdithWharton.

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About the author (1999)

Paula R. Backscheider is a Pepperell-Philpott Eminent Scholar at Auburn University, Alabama.

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