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Biography and Autobiography Books

Biographies were initially composed of the lives of the great and the powerful. This was because they were considered to be a small part of history and that historical interest was much more important than the individual. In the middle ages biography was seen as the vehicle for the promotion of religious views and teachings and this was because access to education and the written word was primarily in the hands of the religious sector. As power began to shift from the religious authorities the focus of biography also changed. Works on kings, knights and the like came to the fore. In the 15th century the invention of the printing press had a huge effect which promoted literacy In the 20th century, with the advent of mass education, there began to appear an improvement in the standard of the biography. Psychology had developed and it was no longer acceptable to produce long tracts of continual praisings. The consequence of the Industrial Revolution was that the general public became more condescending of what was put before them. At the same time the spread of subjects widened to include artists, celebrities and people of popular interest. Autobiographies came to feature more at this time. In the present day, as the publishing industry grew and grew, biography and autobiography has grown in prominence. There are books on sport, music, actors, comediens and basically, people with a story to tell, all in the classification of biography and autobiography.


Picture of Boulevard of Broken Dreams book cover
James Dean by Paul Alexander

Picture of Beryl Grey book cover
Beryl Grey by Gordon Anthony

Picture of Osborne book cover
John Osborne by Martin Banham

Picture of Evil Angels book cover
Story of the Dingo Baby by John Burke

Picture of Flying Solo book cover
Amelia Earhart by John Bryson

Picture of Milena book cover
Milena Jesenska by Margarete Buber Neumann

Picture of Christopher Columbus book cover
Christopher Columbus by John Stewart Collis

Picture of Melville His:World and Work book cover
Herman Melville byAndrew Delbanco

Picture of Arnold Bennett: A Biography book cover
Arnold Bennett by Margaret Drabble

Picture of Mozart book cover
Mozart by Alfred Einstein

Picture of Fatal Englishman book cover
Fatal Englishman by Sebastian Faulks

Picture of Dylan Thomas book cover
Dylan Thomas by Paul Ferris

Picture of Seamus Heaney book cover
Seamus Heaney by Thomas C Foster

Picture of Charlotte Bronte book cover
Charlotte Bronte by Winifred Gerin

Picture of Lady Hester book cover
Lady Hester by Lorna Gibb

Picture of Alexander Solzhenitsyn book cover
Alexander Solzhenitsyn by Giovanni Grazzini

Picture of Norma Jean book cover
Marilyn Monroe by Fred Lawrence Guiles

Picture of Two of Us book cover
John Thaw by Sheila Hancock

Picture of First Man book cover
Neil Armstrong by James R Hansen

Picture of Brando book cover
Marlon Brando by Charles Higham

Picture of John Betjeman book cover
John Betjeman by Bevis Hillier

Picture of Dashiell Hammett book cover
Dashiell Hammett by Diane Johnson

Picture of Ford book cover
Ford by Robert Lacey

Picture of Princess of Wales book cover
Princess of Wales by Ladybird Books

Picture of Marina and Lee book cover
Lee Harvey Oswald by Priscilla Johnson McMillan

Picture of Zen of Muhammad Ali book cover
Muhammad Ali by Davis Miller

Picture of A Beautiful Mind book cover
John Nash by Sylvia Nasar

Picture of German Men of Letters book cover
German Men of Letters by Alex Natan

Picture of W B Yeats book cover
W B Yeats by William H Pritchard

Picture of Dean Koontz book cover
Dean Koontz by Katherine Ramsland

Picture of Life and Writings of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra book cover
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra by Thomas Roscoe

Picture of Michael Jackson - The Magic and the Madness book cover
Michael Jackson by J Randy Tarraborrelli

Picture of Rosebud book cover
Orson Welles by David Thomson

Picture of Addicted to Love book cover
Kate Moss by Fred Vermorel

Picture of Helen Mirrens book cover
Helen Mirren by Ivan Waterman

Picture of Rasputin and the Fall of the Romanovs book cover
Rasputin by Colin Wilson

Picture of Life of Kenneth Tynan book cover
Kenneth Tynan by Kathleen Tynan

Picture of Sky Burial book cover
Sky Burial by Xue Xinran


Picture of 50 Cent
50 Cent

Picture of Gerry Adams
Gerry Adams

Picture of Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou

Picture of Jean Dominique Bauby
Jean Dominique Bauby

Picture of Cecil Beaton
Cecil Beaton

Picture of John Berger
John Berger

Picture of Michael Bond
Michael Bond

Picture of Noel Browne
Noel Browne

Picture of Augusten Burroughs
Augusten Burroughs

Picture of Bob Champion
Bob Champion

Picture of Jung Chang
Jung Chang

Picture of Austin Clarke
Austin Clarke

Picture of John Cleese
John Cleese

Picture of Annie Dillard
Annie Dillard

Picture of Waris Dirie
Waris Dirie

Picture of J P Donleavy
J P Donleavy

Picture of Constantine Fitzgibbon
Constantine Fitzgibbon

Picture of Mikal Gilmore
Mikal Gilmore

Picture of Granta Magazine
Granta Magazine

Picture of James Herriot
James Herriot

Picture of Alex Higgins
Alex Higgins

Picture of Livia E Bitton_Jackson
Livia E Bitton Jackson

Picture of Griff Rhys Jones
Griff Rhys Jones

Picture of Peter Kay
Peter Kay

Picture of Fergal Keane
Fergal Keane

Picture of Brian Keenan
Brian Keenan

Picture of Adrian Kenny
Adrian Kenny

Picture of Laurie Lee
Laurie Lee

Picture of Doris Lessing
Doris Lessing

Picture of Frank McCourt
Frank McCourt

Picture of Malachy McCourt
Malachy McCourt

Picture of Michael McIntyre
Michael McIntyre

Picture of Thomas Merton
Thomas Merton

Picture of Spike Milligan
Spike Milligan

Picture of Sheila Mooney
Sheila Mooney

Picture of Christina Noble
Christina Noble

Picture of Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan

Picture of Barack Obama
Barack Obama

Picture of Sean O'Casey
Sean O'Casey

Picture of Frank O'Connor
Frank O'Connor

Picture of Nuala O'Faolain
Nuala O'Faolain

Picture of Michael Parkinson
Michael Parkinson

Picture of Ger Philpott
Ger Philpott

Picture of Robert Sabbag
Robert Sabbag

Picture of George Sand
George Sand

Picture of Jean Paul Sartre
Jean Paul Sartre

Picture of Elisa Segrave
Elisa Segrave

Picture of Alice Sebold
Alice Sebold

Picture of Constantin Stanislavski
Constantin Stanislavski

Picture of Janet Street-Porter
Janet Street-Porter

Picture of George Thomas
George Thomas

Picture of George Thomas
Elie Wiesel

Picture of Toby Young
Toby Young