By Barbara Caine
Biography is the oldest method of writing approximately old occasions, and probably the most renowned. taking a look at 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 of ancient writing at this time time
• combines a dialogue of the historical past of biography with a longer research of latest methods to biography
• hyperlinks advancements inside background to the broader curiosity in auto/biography and life-writing, and to literary methods
• means that there are a few special positive factors within the ways that historians deal with biography.
Original and insightful, this can be a necessary creation to a transforming into, and more and more very important, box of research and research.
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Extra resources for Biography and History
The story of an individual life was the subject of a number of Victorian novels. In some notable cases, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield, the novel purports to be an autobiography, with the central character as its narrator. But the lives as depicted in these works are both shaped by biography and help to shape it. One can see this particularly in their strong interest in childhood and in the impact of childhood experiences on adult life. Although Victorian fiction was often more concerned with emotional states and an interior emotional life than with biography, it shared many of the same restrictions in terms of the issues which could be discussed.
41 Elton acknowledged the importance of individuals, but insisted that they have to yield first place to institutions. 42 And yet, despite this, biography continued to be an integral part of history and particularly of the political history which often claimed pre-eminence. In both Britain and the United States, the detailed biographies of major political leaders were always required reading on history courses. Indeed, major political biographies often continue to be read and studied long after other historical works produced at the same time have been superseded.
The Victorian belief in the need for restraint and decorum in dealing with personal failings and with private life had already been challenged at the end of the nineteenth century in a number of ways. 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.