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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.
James Dean by Paul Alexander
John Osborne by Martin Banham
Story of the Dingo Baby by John Burke
Amelia Earhart by John Bryson
Milena Jesenska by Margarete Buber Neumann
Christopher Columbus by John Stewart Collis
Herman Melville byAndrew Delbanco
Arnold Bennett by Margaret Drabble
Mozart by Alfred Einstein
Fatal Englishman by Sebastian Faulks
Dylan Thomas by Paul Ferris
Seamus Heaney by Thomas C Foster
Charlotte Bronte by Winifred Gerin
Lady Hester by Lorna Gibb
Alexander Solzhenitsyn by Giovanni Grazzini
C. S. Lewis by Roger Lancelyn Green and Walter Hooper
Marilyn Monroe by Fred Lawrence Guiles
John Thaw by Sheila Hancock
Neil Armstrong by James R Hansen
Marlon Brando by Charles Higham
John Betjeman by Bevis Hillier
Dashiell Hammett by Diane Johnson
Ford by Robert Lacey
Princess of Wales by Ladybird Books
Gary Gilmore by Norman Mailer
Beryl Grey by Gordon Anthony
Lee Harvey Oswald by Priscilla Johnson McMillan
Muhammad Ali by Davis Miller
John Nash by Sylvia Nasar
German Men of Letters by Alex Natan
W B Yeats by William H Pritchard
Dean Koontz by Katherine Ramsland
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra by Thomas Roscoe
Michael Jackson by J Randy Tarraborrelli
Orson Welles by David Thomson
Kate Moss by Fred Vermorel
Helen Mirren by Ivan Waterman
Rasputin by Colin Wilson
Kenneth Tynan by Kathleen Tynan
Sky Burial by Xue Xinran
Jean Dominique Bauby
J P Donleavy
Livia E Bitton Jackson
Griff Rhys Jones
Jean Paul Sartre