Chris Birch

Get to know Chris Birch

A biography is simply a bio that gives an account or detailed description about the life of a person. It entails basic facts such as childhood, education, career, relationships, family and death. Biography is a literary genre that portrays the experiences of all these events occurred in the life of a person mostly in a chronological order. Unlike a resume or profile, biography provides life story of a subject, highlighting different aspects of his/her life. The person or the writer, who writes biographies, is called as a biographer.
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Types of Biography

There are three types of biography:

It tells the story of a person’s life, who writes it himself or herself. However, sometimes he/she may take guidance from a ghostwriter or collaborator.

It narrates the life story of a person written by another person or writer. It is further divided into five categories:

Popular biography
Historical biography
Literary biography
Reference biography
Fictional biography


This is a more focused term than an autobiography or a biography. In a memoir, a writer himself/herself narrates the details of a particular event or situation occurred in his/her lifetime.
Examples of Biography in Literature
Example 1

Shakespeare: A Life by Park Honan

It is the most accurate, up-to-date and complete narrative ever written about the life of Shakespeare. Park Honan has used rich and fresh information about Shakespeare in order to change the perceptions of the readers for the playwright and his role as a poet and actor. This book completely differs from other biographies that imagine different roles for him, commenting on his sexual relationships and colorful intrigues. Though detailed psychological theories and imaginative reforms about him could be amusing, in fact, they damage credibility of the sources. Therefore, many attempts have been made to know about him, which is not a new thing but this one is a unique example.
Example 2

Arthur Miller: Attention Must Be Paid by James Campbell

This biography is written in the form of a drama presented in just two acts. In the first act, author shows the famous dramatist in his early success, having love of the most beloved woman of the world and resistance to tyranny. However, in the second act of this biography, author shows hero was badly assaulted and ridiculed by a rowdy mob called critics, who are expelled from the conventional theater. He ends his book “Arthur Miller” with rhetorical details related to a revitalization in the fortunes of the playwright.
Example 3

The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell

It is frequently hyped as a perfect example of modern biography and all-time best example in English language. This masterpiece of James Boswell has covered the whole life of ubiquitous literary writer, Samuel Johnson, with whom James was well acquainted on account of his subject of study. The unique quality of this book is that it shows Johnson as a walking intellectual amongst us.

Languages (1)
  • English