Lives for Sale: Biographers' Tales

Biography is well recognised as a peculiarly British vice. Lives for Sale is an anthology 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. There are impassioned pieces in favour of biography, and others that describe disenchantment with an attempt to capture another human being in the pages of a book. 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, Lives for Sale is full of amusing anecdotes and fascinating experiences retold by some of the masters of the form, including Michael Holroyd, 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.