Biography is well recognised as a peculiarly British vice. This new anthology is a collection of essays by some of the best biographers now writing in Britain. They tell of the ups and downs of life writing: of problems with families and friends of their subjects, of shocking new discoveries, and of bitter professional rivalries. Essays in favour of biography, others that describe disenchantment with an attempt to capture another human being in the pages of a book. First published in the autumn of 2004 - to coincide with the appearance of the most important British publishing enterprise of the new century to date, the new Oxford Dictionary of National Biography - this new in paperback edition of Lives For Sale is full of amusing anecdotes and fascinating experiences retold by some of the masters of the form, including Michael Holroyd, Claire Tomalin, Fiona MacCarthy, Graham Robb, Andrew Roberts, Hermione Lee, Margaret Forster, Jenny Uglow, Antonia Fraser, as well as contributions from the rising generation, and an essay by Beryl Bainbridge on 'Waiting for the Biographer'.
Mark Bostridge's books include Vera Brittain: A Life, shortlisted for the Whitbread Biography Award, the NCR Prize for Non-Fiction, and the Fawcett Prize, and the bestselling Letters From a Lost Generation. He is currently writing a biography of Florence Nightingale.
Introduction Mark Bostridge; Preface; The Death Mask - Lyndali Gordon; Personality Rights - Andrew Wilson; A Narcissist's Wedding - Graham Robb; Confessions of a Long-Distance Biographer - Robert Skidelsky; A Great House Full of Rooms - Hermione Lee; A Love Triangle - Frances Wilson; Pantherine - Jeremy Lewis; Rebecca's Ghost - Margaret Forster; Breaking In - Andrew Motion; Archives - Diamaid MacCulloch; Glendower's Syndrome - Hillary Spurling; The Dictionary Man - Brian Harrison; Polar Gap - Sara Wheeler; Starting Over - Claire Tomalin; Ipplepen 269 - Mark Bostridge; Optical Research - Antonia Fraser; Catching Trout - Frances Spalding; La-Di-Dah - Andrew Roberts; My Race Not To Be The Second Primo - Ian Thomson; Stuff With Raw Edges - Lucasta Miller; No Respect - John Sutherland; Fever - Kathryn Hughes; Caught in the Net - Ann Wroe; Finding A Good Woman - Michael Holroyd; Brushstrokes - Ben Pimlott; Baptism by Fire - Fiona MacCarthy; He Put my Brother in iis Book - D.J. Taylor; Manuscript Moments - Jenny Uglow; Tarts - Jane Ridley; The Hand from the Grave - Miranda Seymour; Who Is Sylvia? - Claire Harman; Feeling Byronic - T.J. Binyon; And Waiting for the Biographer - Beryl Bainbridge; Biographies