The Biography Portal


A biography is a detailed description or account of someone's life. More than a list of basic facts (education, work, relationships, and death), a biography also portrays a subject's experience of these 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 a 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. Biographical 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 about a life of a subject, written by that subject or sometimes with a collaborator.

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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...)

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Walt Whitman - George Collins Cox.jpg
Credit: George C. Cox, restored by Adam Cuerden

Walter "Walt" Whitman (May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892) was an American poet, essayist and journalist. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse.

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Jean Thurel (1699–1807), portrait by Antoine Vestier in 1788

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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