A Companion to Literary Biography

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Richard Bradford
John Wiley & Sons, Dec 10, 2018 - Biography & Autobiography - 632 pages
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An authoritative review of literary biography covering the seventeenth century to the twentieth century

A Companion to Literary Biography offers a comprehensive account of literary biography spanning the history of the genre across three centuries. The editor – an esteemed literary biographer and noted expert in the field – has encouraged contributors to explore the theoretical and methodological questions raised by the writing of biographies of writers. The text examines how biographers have dealt with the lives of classic authors from Chaucer to contemporary figures such as Kingsley Amis.

The Companion brings a new perspective on how literary biography enables the reader to deal with the relationship between the writer and their work. Literary biography is the most popular form of writing about writing, yet it has been largely neglected in the academic community. This volume bridges the gap between literary biography as a popular genre and its relevance for the academic study of literature. This important work:

  • Allows the author of a biography to be treated as part of the process of interpretation and investigates biographical reading as an important aspect of criticism
  • Examines the birth of literary biography at the close of the seventeenth century and considers its expansion through the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries
  • Addresses the status and writing of literary biography from numerous perspectives and with regard to various sources, methodologies and theories
  • Reviews the ways in which literary biography has played a role in our perception of writers in the mainstream of the English canon from Chaucer to the present day

Written for students at the undergraduate level, through postgraduate and doctoral levels, as well as academics, A Companion to Literary Biography illustrates and accounts for the importance of the literary biography as a vital element of criticism and as an index to our perception of literary history.

 

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Contents

On the Origins of Ambivalent Attitudes
25
Victorian Literary Biography c 18301880
45
Literary Biography 18801930
63
Aerial Creations of the Poets? New Biography and the BBC in the 1930s
87
Literary Biography in the Twentieth Century
107
Ethics and Literary Biography
123
Feminism and Biography
159
The Role of Diaries in the Development of Literary Biography
175
An Uneasy
339
Evelyn Waugh and Muriel Spark
357
Chaucer
375
Writing Shakespeares Life
391
John Donne
405
Jonathan Swift
423
Life and Death in the Literary Biographies of Pope and His Circle
437
Richardson and Fielding
455

Literary Biography Literary Autobiography and Evidence
195
The Archival Legacies of Canadian Women Writers
213
Life Writing and Gender
229
Larkin Letters
245
J M Coetzee and the Ethics of Style in Autobiography
263
The Case of Salman Rushdie
291
The Materials of Literary Biography
309
The Unknowability of English Renaissance
325
Obfuscation and Invention in Victorian
469
Dickens Tennyson Kipling
489
Would the Real Mr Eliot Please Stand Up?
511
The State of Joyce Biography
529
Literary Biography and the DeCanonization of Amy Lowell
547
Reviewing the Lives and Works of Philip Larkin and Kingsley Amis
565
Index
581
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About the author (2018)

Richard Bradford is Research Professor of English at Ulster University and Visiting Professor at the University of Avignon. He has held posts in Oxford, the University of Wales, and Trinity College, Dublin. He has produced 25 academic monographs on a variety of topics and has published well-reviewed literary biographies with trade presses on figures such as Kingsley Amis, Philip Larkin, Alan Sillitoe, Martin Amis, John Milton, and Ernest Hemingway.

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