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Victoriana - Histories, Fictions, Criticism$
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Cora Kaplan

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780748611478

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748611478.001.0001

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(p.37) Chapter 2 Biographilia
Victoriana - Histories, Fictions, Criticism

Cora Kaplan

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter studies the currently rising profile of Victorian literary biography. It takes a look at how life writing removed the writer's privilege to be an important witness to the significance and sense of his work, and how it can also be seen as a new way of thinking about history, subjectivity, and agency. The chapter then focuses on biography, which has been described by Samuel Johnson as producing the ‘act of imagination’, which allows readers to feel the ‘joy or sorrow’ of others. It also discusses the transition of biography into fiction.

Keywords:   literary biography, life writing, Samuel Johnson, act of imagination, fiction, biography

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