Biography and History by Barbara Caine

By Barbara Caine

Biography is the oldest manner of writing approximately ancient occasions, and probably the most renowned. the advanced dating among the self-discipline of historical past and the writing of lives, Biography and History:
• is the 1st paintings to discover the numerous position of biography inside ancient writing at this time time
• combines a dialogue of the heritage of biography with a longer research of up to date methods to biography
• hyperlinks advancements inside historical past to the broader curiosity in auto/biography and life-writing, and to literary methods
• means that there are a few designated positive aspects within the ways that historians deal with biography.

Original and insightful, this can be an important creation to a turning out to be, and more and more vital, box of research and research.

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Sample text

Boswell provides detailed discussion of Johnson’s friendships, manners, physical ailments, problems and some of his emotional weaknesses, as well as his ideas and his work. 14 For all the insistence on the importance of ‘domestick privacies [sic]’, therefore, by current standards eighteenth-century understandings of intimacy leave much still hidden. ’: the changing pattern of biography in the nineteenth century15 Boswell’s Life of Johnson was widely regarded throughout the nineteenth century as the greatest biography ever written, although the approach that it embodied did not long survive.

But there was also a new interest in researching and writing the lives of literary and religious figures not personally known to the author. William Roper’s biography of his father-in-law Sir Thomas More, first published early in the seventeenth century, was a noted example of the former group, with Izaak Walton’s eloquent and sympathetic lives of John Donne, George Herbert and Richard Hooker serving as an example of the latter. The range of biographical subjects expanded in Britain in the aftermath of the Civil War and the Restoration.

One can see it most clearly in the novels dealing with the ‘new woman’ or the consequences of the prevailing double standard in sexual morality and even the issue of sexual incompatibility in marriage. But it was not these questions which were taken up in biographical writing so much as the appalling burden imposed on their children by the unquestioning religious faith and narrow and puritanical views and lives of some Victorian parents. 27 Gosse’s work offered a deeply moving picture of an unhappy childhood and of an impossible parent–child relationship.

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