ABOUT THIS BOOKWriting Lives in the Eighteenth Century
is a collection of essays on memoir, biography, and autobiography during a formative period for the genre. The essays revolve around recognized male and female figures—returning to the Boswell and Burney circle—but present arguments that dismantle traditional privileging of biographical modes. The contributors reconsider the processes of hero making in the beginning phases of a culture of celebrity. Employing the methodology William Godwin outlined for novelists of taking material “from all sources, experience, report, and the records of human affairs,” each contributor examines within the contexts of their time and historical traditions the anxieties and imperatives of the auto/biographer as she or he shapes material into a legacy. New work on Frances Burney D’Arblay’s son, Alexander, as revealed through letters; on Isabelle de Charriere; on Hester Thrale Piozzi; and on Alicia LeFanu and Frances Burney’s realignment of family biography extend current conversations about eighteenth century biography and autobiography.
Published by Bucknell University Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.