The development of psychoanalysis led to a more penetrating and comprehensive understanding of the biographical subject, and induced biographers to give more emphasis to childhood and adolescence. Clearly these psychological ideas were changing the way biographies were written, as a culture of autobiography developed, in which the telling of one's own story became a form of therapy. The conventional concept of heroes writing and narratives of success disappeared in the obsession with psychological explorations of personality. Eminent Victorians set the standard for 20th century biographical writing, when it was published in 1918. British critic Lytton Strachey revolutionized the art of biographical writing with his 1918 work Eminent Victorians, consisting of biographies of four leading figures from the victorian era : Cardinal Manning, florence nightingale, thomas Arnold, and General Gordon. 9 Strachey set out to breathe life into the victorian era for future generations to read. Up until this point, as Strachey remarked in the preface, victorian biographies had been "as familiar as the cortège of the undertaker and wore the same air of "slow, funereal barbarism." Strachey defied the tradition of "two fat volumes. Of undigested masses of material" and took aim at the four iconic figures.
In addition, affordable paperback editions of popular biographies were published for the first time. Periodicals began publishing a sequence of biographical sketches. Autobiographies became more popular, as with the rise of education and cheap printing, modern concepts of fame and celebrity began to develop. Autobiographies were written by authors, such as Charles Dickens (who incorporated autobiographical elements in his novels) and Anthony Trollope, (his Autobiography appeared posthumously, quickly becoming a bestseller in London 8 philosophers, such as John Stuart Mill, churchmen john Henry newman and entertainers. Modern biography The sciences of psychology and sociology were ascendant at the turn of the 20th century and would heavily influence the new centurys biographies. The demise of the "great man" theory of history was indicative of the emerging mindset. Human behavior would be explained through Darwinian theories. "Sociological" biographies conceived of their subjects' actions as the result of the environment, and tended to downplay individuality.
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3 The American biography followed the English model, incorporating Thomas Carlyle 's view that biography was a part of history. Carlyle asserted that the lives of great human beings were essential to story understanding society and its institutions. While the historical impulse would remain a strong element in early American biography, american writers carved out a distinct approach. What emerged was a rather didactic form of biography, which sought to shape the individual the character of a reader in the process of defining national character. Emergence of the genre The first modern biography, and a work which exerted considerable influence on the evolution of the genre, was James Boswell 's The life of Samuel Johnson, a biography of lexicographer and man-of-letters Samuel Johnson published in 1791. 6 While boswell's personal acquaintance with his subject only began in 1763, when Johnson was 54 years old, boswell covered the entirety of Johnson's life by means of additional research.
Itself an important stage in the development of the modern genre of biography, it has been claimed to be the greatest biography written in the English language. Boswell's work was unique in its level of research, which involved archival study, eye-witness accounts and interviews, its robust and attractive narrative, and its honest depiction of all aspects of Johnson's life and character - a formula which serves as the basis of biographical literature. 7 biographical writing generally stagnated during the 19th century - in many cases there was a reversal to the more familiar hagiographical method of eulogizing the dead, similar to the biographies of saints produced in Medieval times. A distinction between mass biography and literary biography began to form by the middle of the century, reflecting a breach between high culture and middle-class culture. However, the number of biographies in print experienced a rapid growth, thanks to an expanding reading public. This revolution in publishing made books available to a larger audience of readers.
And then began the documentation of the lives of many other historical figures (from rulers to scholars) who lived in the medieval Islamic world. By the late middle Ages, biographies became less church-oriented in Europe as biographies of kings, knights, and tyrants began to appear. The most famous of such biographies was le morte d'Arthur by sir Thomas Malory. The book was an account of the life of the fabled King Arthur and his Knights of the round Table. Following Malory, the new emphasis on humanism during the renaissance promoted a focus on secular subjects, such as artists and poets, and encouraged writing in the vernacular.
Giorgio vasari 's lives of the Artists (1550) was the landmark biography focusing on secular lives. Vasari made celebrities of his subjects, as the lives became an early "bestseller". Two other developments are noteworthy: the development of the printing press in the 15th century and the gradual increase in literacy. Biographies in the English language began appearing during the reign of Henry viii. John Foxe 's Actes and Monuments (1563 better known as Foxe's book of Martyrs, was essentially the first dictionary of the biography in Europe, followed by Thomas Fuller 's The history of the worthies of England (1662 with a distinct focus on public life. Influential in shaping popular conceptions of pirates, a general History of the pyrates (1724 by Charles Johnson, is the prime source for the biographies of many well-known pirates.
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Their works were meant to be inspirational to the people and vehicles for conversion to Christianity (see hagiography ). One significant secular example of strange a biography from this period is the life of Charlemagne by his courtier Einhard. In Medieval Islamic civilization (c. Ad 750 to 1258 similar traditional Muslim biographies of Muhammad and other important figures in the early history of Islam began to be written, beginning the Prophetic biography tradition. Early biographical dictionaries were published as compendia of famous Islamic personalities from the 9th century onwards. They contained more mattress social data for a large segment of the population than other works of that period. The earliest biographical dictionaries initially focused on the lives of the prophets of Islam and their companions, with one of these early examples being The book of The major Classes by Ibn sa'd al-Baghdadi.
survive. Another well-known collection of ancient biographies. De vita caesarum On the lives of the caesars by suetonius, written about ad 121 in the time of the emperor Hadrian. In the early middle Ages (AD 400 to 1450 there was a decline in awareness of the classical culture in Europe. During this time, the only repositories of knowledge and records of the early history in Europe were those of the roman Catholic Church. Hermits, monks, and priests used this historic period to write biographies. Their subjects were usually restricted to the church fathers, martyrs, popes, and saints.
Works in diverse media, from literature to hazlitt film, form the genre known as biography. An authorized biography is written with the permission, cooperation, and at times, participation of a subject or a subject's heirs. An autobiography is written by the person himself or herself, sometimes with the assistance of a collaborator or ghostwriter. Contents, history, at first, biographical writings were regarded merely as a subsection of history with a focus on a particular individual of historical importance. The independent genre of biography as distinct from general history writing, began to emerge in the 18th century and reached its contemporary form at the turn of the 20th century. Historical biography, einhard as scribe, one of the earliest biographers was. Cornelius Nepos, who published his work, excellentium Imperatorum Vitae lives of outstanding generals in. Longer and more extensive biographies were written in Greek.
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For other uses, see, biography (disambiguation). For the wikipedia policy on biographies of living persons, see. Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons. A biography, or simply bio, is a detailed description of a person's life. It involves more than just the basic facts like education, work, relationships, and death; it portrays a person's experience of these life events. Unlike a profile or curriculum vitae ( résumé a biography presents a subject's life story, highlighting various aspects of his or her life, reviews including intimate details of experience, and may include an analysis of the subject's personality. Biographical works are usually non-fiction, but fiction can also be used to portray a person's life. One in-depth form of biographical coverage is called legacy writing.