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(Replaced content with 'Esochauka Lawrence Maduabuch, also known as Abutech (born August 12, 1988) is a Nigerian Chemist from imo State. Lawrence, is from a family of Nine.')
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Esochauka Lawrence Maduabuch, also known as Abutech (born August 12, 1988) is a Nigerian Chemist from imo State. Lawrence, is from a family of Nine.
{{Selfref|For the Wikipedia policy on biographies of living persons, see [[Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons]].}}
[[File:Plutarchs Lives Vol the Third 1727.jpg|thumb|250px|Third Volume of a 1727 edition of [[Plutarch]]'s ''[[Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans]]'' printed by Jacob Tonson.]]
A '''biography''' or simply '''bio''' is a detailed description or account of a person's life. It entails more than basic facts like education, work, relationships, and death—a biography also portrays a subject's experience of these events. Unlike a profile or [[curriculum vitae]] ([[Resume|résumé]]), a biography presents a subject's life story, highlighting various aspects of his or her life, including intimate details of experience, and may include an analysis of the subject's personality.
Biographical works are usually nonfiction, but fiction can also be used to portray a person's life. One in-depth form of biographical coverage is called legacy writing. Works in diverse media—from literature to film—form the [[genre]] known as biography.
An '''authorized biography''' is written with the permission, cooperation, and at times, participation of a subject or a subject's heirs. An '''[[autobiography]]''' is written by the person themselves, sometimes with the assistance of a collaborator or [[ghostwriter]].<ref>[ The Steve Jobs Code], by Matthew E May</ref>
At first, biographical writings were regarded merely as a subsection of history with a focus on a particular individual of historical importance. The independent genre of biography as distinct from general history writing, began to emerge in the 18th century and reached its contemporary form at the turn of the 20th century.<ref>{{Cite web|url=|title=Biography|accessdate=2012-12-17}}</ref>
===Historical biography===
[[Image:Einhard.jpg|thumb|right|Einhard as scribe]]
One of the earliest biographers was [[Plutarch]], and his ''[[Parallel Lives]]'', published about 80 A.D., covers prominent figures in the [[classics|classical]] world. In 44 B.C. [[Cornelius Nepos]] published a biographical work, his ''Vitae Imperatorum'' (“Lives of Commanders”).<ref name=ea>{{Cite Americana|wstitle=Biography}}</ref>
In the early [[Middle Ages]] (AD 400 to 1450) there was a decline in awareness of the [[classical antiquity|classical]] culture in Europe. During this time, the only repositories of knowledge and records of the early history in Europe were those of the [[Catholic Church|Roman Catholic Church]]. [[Hermit]]s, [[monk]]s, and [[priest]]s used this historic period to write biographies. Their subjects were usually restricted to the [[Church Fathers|church father]]s, [[martyr]]s, [[pope]]s, and [[saint]]s. Their works were meant to be inspirational to the people and vehicles for [[Religious conversion|conversion]] to [[Christianity]] (see [[Hagiography]]). One significant secular example of a biography from this period is the [[Vita Karoli Magni|life of Charlemagne]] by his courtier [[Einhard]].
In [[Islamic Golden Age|Medieval Islamic Civilization]] (c. AD 750 to 1258), similar traditional Muslim biographies of [[Muhammad]] and other important figures in the early [[history of Islam]] began to be written, beginning the [[Prophetic biography]] tradition. Early [[Biographical dictionary|biographical dictionaries]] were published as compendia of famous Islamic personalities from the 9th century onwards. They contained more social data for a large segment of the population than other works of that period. The earliest biographical dictionaries initially focused on the lives of the [[prophets of Islam]] and [[Sahaba|their companions]], with one of these early examples being ''[[The book of The Major Classes (book)|The Book of The Major Classes]]'' by [[Ibn Sa'd al-Baghdadi]]. And then began the documentation of the lives of many other historical figures (from rulers to scholars) who lived in the medieval Islamic world.<ref>{{citation|title=Medieval Islamic civilization: an encyclopedia|volume=2|author=Josef W. Meri|publisher=[[Routledge]]|year=2005|isbn=0-415-96690-6|page=110}}</ref>
[[File:Foxe's Book of Martyrs - Frontispiece (1761).jpg|thumb|left|[[John Foxe]]'s ''[[Foxe's Book of Martyrs|The Book of Martyrs]]'', was one of the earliest English-language biographies.]]
By the late Middle Ages, biographies became less church-oriented in Europe as biographies of [[monarch|king]]s, [[knight]]s, and [[tyrant]]s began to appear. The most famous of such biographies was ''[[Le Morte d'Arthur]]'' by Sir [[Thomas Malory]]. The book was an account of the life of the fabled [[King Arthur]] and his [[Knights of the Round Table]]. Following Malory, the new emphasis on [[humanism]] during the [[Renaissance]] promoted a focus on secular subjects, such as artists and poets, and encouraged writing in the vernacular.
[[Giorgio Vasari]]'s ''[[Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects|Lives of the Artists]]'' (1550) was the landmark biography focusing on secular lives. Vasari made celebrities of his subjects, as the ''Lives'' became an early "bestseller". Two other developments are noteworthy: the development of the [[printing press]] in the 15th century and the gradual increase in [[literacy]].
Biographies in the English language began appearing during the reign of [[Henry VIII]]. [[John Foxe]]'s ''[[Actes and Monuments]]'' (1563), better known as ''Foxe's Book of Martyrs'', was essentially the first dictionary of the biography in Europe, followed by [[Thomas Fuller]]'s ''The History of the Worthies of England'' (1662), with a distinct focus on public life.
Influential in shaping popular conceptions of pirates, ''[[A General History of the Pyrates]]'' (1724), by Charles Johnson, is the prime source for the biographies of many well-known pirates.<ref>[ ''A General History of the Robberies & Murders of the most Notorious Pirates'', by Charles Johnson]. Introduction and commentary by [[David Cordingly]]. Conway Maritime Press (2002).</ref>
The American biography followed the English model, incorporating [[Thomas Carlyle]]'s view that biography was a part of history. Carlyle asserted that the lives of great human beings were essential to understanding society and its institutions. While the historical impulse would remain a strong element in early American biography, American writers carved out a distinct approach. What emerged was a rather didactic form of biography, which sought to shape the individual character of a reader in the process of defining national character.<ref name=casper>Casper, 1999.</ref><ref name=stone>Stone, 1982.</ref>
===Emergence of the genre===
[[File:James Boswell of Auchinleck.jpg|thumb|200x200px|[[James Boswell]] wrote what many consider to be the first modern biography, ''[[The Life of Samuel Johnson]]'', in 1791.]]
The first modern biography, and a work which exerted considerable influence on the evolution of the genre, was [[James Boswell]]'s ''[[The Life of Samuel Johnson]]'', a biography of lexicographer and man-of-letters [[Samuel Johnson]] published in 1791.<ref>{{Cite web|url=|title=James Boswell’s ‘Life of Johnson’: The First Modern Biography|accessdate=2012-12-17}}</ref> While Boswell's personal acquaintance with his subject only began in 1763, when Johnson was 54 years old, Boswell covered the entirety of Johnson's life by means of additional research. Itself an important stage in the development of the modern [[genre]] of biography, it has been claimed to be the greatest biography written in the [[English language]]. Boswell's work was unique in its level of research, which involved archival study, eye-witness accounts and interviews, it's robust and attractive narrative, and it's honest depiction of all aspects of Johnson' life and character - a formula which serves as the basis of biographical literature to this day.<ref>{{Cite web|url=|title=James Boswell: The man who re-invented biography|accessdate=2012-12-17}}</ref>
Biographical writing generally stagnated during the 19th century - in many cases there was a reversal to the more familiar [[hagiography|hagiographical]] method of eulogizing the dead, similar to the biographies of [[saint]]s produced in [[Medieval era|Medieval]] times. A distinction between mass biography and [[Biography in literature|literary biography]] began to form by the middle of the century, reflecting a breach between high culture and [[middle-class]] culture. However, the number of biographies in print experienced a rapid growth, thanks to an expanding reading public. This revolution in publishing made books available to a larger audience of readers. In addition, affordable [[paperback]] editions of popular biographies were published for the first time. [[Periodical]]s began publishing a sequence of biographical sketches.<ref name=casper/>
[[Autobiography|Autobiographies]] became more popular, as with the rise of education and cheap printing, modern concepts of fame and celebrity began to develop. Autobiographies were written by authors, such as [[Charles Dickens]] (who incorporated autobiographical elements in his novels) and [[Anthony Trollope]], (his ''Autobiography'' appeared posthumously, quickly becoming a bestseller in [[London]]<ref>{{cite journal|title=Literary Gossip|journal=The Week : a Canadian journal of politics, literature, science and arts|date=Dec 6, 1883|year=1883|volume=1|series=1|page=13|url=}}</ref>), philosophers, such as [[John Stuart Mill]], churchmen - [[Cardinal Newman]] - and entertainers - [[P. T. Barnum]].
===Modern biography===
The sciences of [[psychology]] and [[sociology]] were ascendant at the turn of the 20th century, and would heavily influence the new century’s biographies.<ref name=stone/> The demise of the [[Great man theory|"great man"]] theory of history was indicative of the emerging mindset. Human behavior would be explained through [[Darwinian]] theories. "Sociological" biographies conceived of their subjects' actions as the result of the environment, and tended to downplay individuality. The development of [[psychoanalysis]] led to a more penetrating and comprehensive understanding of the biographical subject, and induced biographers to give more emphasis to [[childhood]] and [[adolescence]]. Clearly these psychological ideas were changing the way biographies were written, as a culture of autobiography developed in which the telling of one's own story became a form of therapy.<ref name=casper/> The conventional concept of heroes and narratives of success disappeared in the obsession with psychological explorations of personality.
[[File:Eminent Victorians title page.jpg|thumb|left|''[[Eminent Victorians]]'' set the standard for 20th century biographical writing, when it was published in 1918.]]
British critic [[Lytton Strachey]] revolutionized the art of biographical writing with his 1918 work ''[[Eminent Victorians]]'', consisting of biographies of four leading figures from the [[Victorian era]], [[Henry Edward Manning|Cardinal Manning]], [[Florence Nightingale]], [[Thomas Arnold]] and [[Charles George Gordon|General Gordon]].<ref name=Levy>[ Paul Levy ''A string quartet in four movements'' The Guardian, Saturday 20 July 2002]</ref> Strachey set out to breathe life into the [[Victorian era]] for future generations to read. Up until this point, as Strachey remarked in the preface, Victorian biographies had been "as familiar as the ''cortège'' of the undertaker", and wore the same air of "slow, funereal barbarism." Strachey defied the tradition of "two fat volumes....of undigested masses of material" and took aim at the four iconic figures. His narrative demolished the myths that had built up around these cherished national heroes, who he regarded as no better than a "set of mouth bungled hypocrites". The book achieved worldwide fame, due to its irreverent and witty style, it's concise and factually accurate nature and it's artistic prose.<ref>{{Cite web|url=|title=A Biography of the Biography|accessdate=2012-12-17}}</ref>
In the 1920s and '30s, biographical writers sought to capitalize on Strachey's popularity by imitating his style. This new school featured iconoclasts, scientific analysts, and fictional biographers and included [[Gamaliel Bradford (biographer)|Gamaliel Bradford]], [[André Maurois]], and [[Emil Ludwig]], among others. [[Robert Graves]] (''I, Claudius'', 1934) stood out among those following Strachey's model of "debunking biographies." The trend in literary biography was accompanied in popular biography by a sort of "celebrity voyeurism", in the early decades of the century. This latter form's appeal to readers was based on curiosity more than morality or patriotism. By [[World War I]], cheap hard-cover reprints had become popular. The decades of the 1920s witnessed a biographical "boom."
The feminist scholar [[Carolyn Gold Heilbrun|Carolyn Heilbrun]] observed that women's biographies and autobiographies began to change character during the second wave of [[Feminism|feminist]] activism. She cited [[Nancy Milford|Nancy Milford's]] 1970 biography ''Zelda'', as the "beginning of a new period of women's biography, because "[only] in 1970 were we ready to read not that [[Zelda Fitzgerald|Zelda]] had destroyed [[F. Scott Fitzgerald|Fitzgerald]], but Fitzgerald her: he had usurped her narrative." Heilbrun named 1973 as the turning point in women's autobiography, with the publication of [[May Sarton|May Sarton's]] ''Journal of a Solitude,'' for that was the first instance where a woman told her life story, not as finding "beauty even in pain" and transforming "rage into spiritual acceptance," but acknowledging what had previously been forbidden to women: their pain, their rage, and their "open admission of the desire for power and control over one's life."<ref>Heilbrun, Carolyn G. ''Writing a Woman's Life''. (New York: W. W. Norton, 1988), 12, 13.</ref>
===Recent years===
In recent years, [[multimedia]] biography has become more popular than traditional literary forms. Along with documentary [[biographical film]]s, [[Hollywood, Los Angeles, California|Hollywood]] produced numerous commercial films based on the lives of famous people. The popularity of these forms of biography have led to the proliferation of TV channels dedicated to biography, including [[A&E Network|A&E]], [[The Biography Channel]] and [[History (U.S. TV channel)|The History Channel]].
CD-ROM and online biographies have also appeared. Unlike books and films, they often do not tell a chronological narrative: instead, they are archives of many discrete media elements related to an individual person, including video clips, photographs, and text articles. Biography-Portraits created in 2001 by the German artist [[Ralph Ueltzhoeffer]]. Media scholar Lev Manovich says that such archives exemplify the database form, allowing users to navigate the materials in many ways.<ref>Manovich, 2001, p. 220.</ref> General "life writing" techniques are a subject of scholarly study.<ref>{{cite journal|last=Hughes|first=Kathyrn|title=Review of Teaching Life Writing Texts, Miriam Fuchs and Craig Howes, eds.|journal=Journal of Historical Biography|date=Spring 2009|volume=5|pages=159–163|url=}}</ref>
In recent years, debates have arisen as to whether all biographies are fiction, especially when authors are writing about figures from the past. President of Wolfston College at Oxford University, [[Hermione Lee]] argues that all history is seen through a perspective that is the product of our contemporary society and as a result biographical truths are constanty shifting. So the history biographers write about will not be the way that it happened; It will be the way they remembered it.<ref name="The Art of Life">{{cite web|last=Professor Lee|first=Hermione|title=The Art of Life: Are Biographies Fiction?|url=|publisher=IAI|accessdate=10 January 2014}}</ref> Debates have also arisen concerning the importance of space in life-writing.<ref>F. Regard (ed.), ''Mapping the Self: Space, Identity, Discourse in British Auto/Biography'', Saint-Etienne, PUSE, 2003.</ref>
==Book awards==
Several countries offer an annual prize for writing a biography such as the:
*[[Drainie-Taylor Biography Prize]] – Canada
*[[National Biography Award]] – Australia
*[[Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography]] – United States
*[[Costa Book Awards|Whitbread Prize for Best Biography]] – United Kingdom
*[[J. R. Ackerley Prize for Autobiography]] – United Kingdom
*[[Prix Goncourt de la Biographie]] – France.
==See also==
*[[Legal biography]]
* Casper, Scott E. ''Constructing American Lives: Biography and Culture in Nineteenth-Century America.'' Chapel Hill: [[University of North Carolina Press]], 1999.
* Heilbrun, Carolyn G. ''Writing a Woman's Life.'' New York: W. W. Norton, 1988.
* Lee, Hermione. ''Biography: A Very Short Introduction'', Oxford University Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-19-953354-1
* Manovich, Lev. ''The Language of New Media.'' Cambridge, MA: [[MIT Press]], 2001.
* Stone, Albert E. ''Autobiographical Occasions and Original Acts.'' Philadelphia: [[University of Pennsylvania Press]], 1982.
==External links==
* Leading, contemporary biographers [[Hermione Lee]] & [[Ray Monk]] with Director [[Stephen Frears]] debate whether [ all biographies are fiction]
[[Category:Biography| ]]
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