I own a sizable collection of literary biographies. These are some of my favourites:
- Auden by Richard Davenport-Hines
- The Secret Life of Aphra Behn by Janet Todd
- Louise Bogan A Portrait by Elizabeth Frank
- Truman Capote by George Plimpton
- Secrets of the Flesh A Life of Colette by Judith Thurman
- My Wars Are Laid Away in Books The Life of Emily Dickinson by Alfred Habegger
- Herself, Defined H.D. and Her World by Barbara Guest
- George Eliot A Life by Rosemary Ashton
Do you have a favourite?
Well! How about this! I just realized I don’t really read literary biographies. I always read about writers online but, for all my posturing about reading and writing, never really take the time to delve into a published literary bio. Quelle embarrassment! It’s a bit like leaving the house with mismatched socks.
Nah, to each their own! I have a passion for the genre of biography, but especially those about dead writers/artists/interesting people. Always have, for as long as I can remember. Even in primary school.
The two that come immediately to mind are Vita: The Life of V. Sackville-West by Victoria Glendinning and A Great Unrecorded History: A New Life of E.M. Forster by Wendy Moffat. The first I have read probably five times because I love it so; the second I have only read once, but it was so touching I cried.
I’ve read the former. I enjoyed it a lot. I’ve not read that particular Forster biography, though. Thanks for sharing your faves!