Have you ever read a biography on a classic author? If so, tell us about it. If you had already read works by this author, did reading a biography of his/her life change your perspective on the author’s writing? Why or why not? // Or, if you’ve never read a biography of a classic author, would you? Why or why not?
I am not a huge biography reader – I dont like non-fiction as a whole. I have, however, read a few but these have mainly been film people (Audrey Hepburn, Stephen Speilberg and the like) but that was a long tine ago.
I have read Elizabeth Gaskell’s biography on The Life of Charlotte Bronte, which I found a little tough going at the time, but finished it in the end. It was interesting and gave an indication of what it was like to be one of a number of girls, where the mother has died young, and there are limited opportunities for marriage. (CB married late at 38, and died barely a year into the marriage). I’m not entirely sure it displayed how she was able to write something like Jane Eyre as a result.
I’ve subsequently found out that perhaps Gaskell’s biography is perhaps not the most reliable piece of writing – Gaskell was one of CB’s friends and wanted to present her in the best possible light. I’m not a huge fan on non-fiction books, so have not looked to read an alternative version…….However it is marked in history as the first biography of a woman writer, by a woman, and helped set up the Bronte myth.