A Companion to Literary Biography (Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture)
An authoritative review of literary biography coveringthe seventeenth century to the twentieth centuryA Companion to Literary Biography offers acomprehensive account of literary biography spanning the history ofthe genre across three centuries. The editor – an esteemed literarybiographer and noted expert in the field – has encouragedcontributors to explore the theoretical and methodologicalquestions raised by the writing of biographies of writers. The textexamines how biographers have dealt with the lives of classicauthors from Chaucer to contemporary figures such as KingsleyAmis.The Companion brings a new perspective on how literary biographyenables the reader to deal with the relationship between the writerand their work. Literary biography is the most popular form ofwriting about writing, yet it has been largely neglected in theacademic community. This volume bridges the gap between literarybiography as a popular genre and its relevance for the academicstudy of literature. This important work:Allows the author of a biography to be treated as part of theprocess of interpretation and investigates biographical reading asan important aspect of criticismExamines the birth of literary biography at the close of theseventeenth century and considers its expansion through theeighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuriesAddresses the status and writing of literary biography fromnumerous perspectives and with regard to various sources,methodologies and theoriesReviews the ways in which literary biography has played a rolein our perception of writers in the mainstream of the English canonfrom Chaucer to the present dayWritten for students at the undergraduate level, throughpostgraduate and doctoral levels, as well as academics, ACompanion to Literary Biography illustrates and accounts forthe importance of the literary biography as a vital element ofcriticism and as an index to our perception of literaryhistory.