Introduction

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 of a person's life. It involves more than just the basic facts like education, work, relationships, and death; it portrays a person's experience of these life events. Unlike a profile or curriculum vitae (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 non-fiction, 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 himself or herself, sometimes with the assistance of a collaborator or ghostwriter.

Featured biography

Mary Wollstonecraft by John Opie (c. 1797).jpg

Mary Wollstonecraft (t/; 27 April 1759 – 10 September 1797) was an eighteenth-century British writer, philosopher, and feminist. During her brief career as a maid she wrote novels, treatises, a travel narrative, a history of the French Revolution, a conduct book, and a children's book. Wollstonecraft is best known for A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), in which she argues that women are not naturally inferior to men, but appear to be only because they lack education. She suggests that both men and animals should be treated as rational beings and imagines a social order founded on reason. (Read more...)

Selected portrait

John Henry Newman by Sir John Everett Millais, 1st Bt.jpg
Credit: John Everett Millais

John Henry Newman CO (21 February 1801 – 11 August 1890) was a leader in the Oxford Movement. In 1845 Newman left the Church of England and was received into the Roman Catholic Church where he was eventually granted the rank of cardinal. He was instrumental in the founding of the Catholic University of Ireland, which evolved into University College, Dublin, today, the largest university in Ireland.

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On this day – October 20

Sir Christopher Wren

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Self-portrait by Maximilien Luce, c. 1925–1930

Quote of the week

"…life will not perish! It will begin anew with love; it will start out naked and tiny; it will take root in the wilderness, and to it all that we did and built will mean nothing—our towns and factories, our art, our ideas will all mean nothing, and yet life will not perish! Only we have perished. Our houses and machines will be in ruins, our systems will collapse, and the names of our great will fall away like dry leaves. Only you, love, will blossom on this rubbish heap and commit the seed of life to the winds."

Karel Čapek

In R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots), 1921

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