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 praises.
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, comedians and basically, people with a story to tell, all in the classification of biography and autobiography.