Best biographies and autobiographies

The best biographies and autobiographies ever written


best biographies and autobiographies

Crusade for Justice: The autobiography

In 1880 he published his best original poetry, the kasidah, written under a pseudonym and patterned after the rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám. In Trieste, burton emerged as a translator of extraordinary virtuosity. He translated and annotated six volumes of Camões, a volume of neapolitan Italian tales by giambattista basile, il Pentamerone, and Latin poems by catullus. What excited him most, however, was the erotica of the east. Taking it upon himself to introduce to the west the sexual wisdom of the ancient Eastern manuals on the art of love, he risked prosecution and imprisonment to translate and print secretly the kama sutra of Vatsyayana (1883 Ananga ranga (1885 and The perfumed Garden. He also published openly, but privately, an unexpurgated 16-volume edition of the Arabian Nights (188588 the translation of which was so exceptional for its fidelity, masculine vigour, and literary skill that it has frightened away all competitors. Moreover, he larded these volumes with ethnological footnotes and daring essays on pornography, homosexuality, and the sexual education of women. He railed against the immodest modesty, the cant, and hypocrisy of his era, displaying psychological insights that anticipated both havelock Ellis and Sigmund Freud.

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He also began translating the works of the romantic Portuguese poet-explorer luís de camões, with whom he felt a deep sense of kinship. Yet his work did not help him to overcome his increasing aversion for Brazil. He took to drink, and finally he sent his devoted wife to london to obtain a better post for him. She succeeded in persuading the foreign Secretary to appoint Burton consul in Damascus. Back in the middle east, which he loved, burton for a time was highly successful as a diplomat; but Muslim intrigue, complicated by the proselytizing indiscretions of his Roman Catholic wife, resulted in his humiliating help dismissal in August 1871. The details of this event were recorded by Isabel Burton in her lively, defensive inner Life of Syria (1875). Trieste In 1872 Burton reluctantly accepted the consulate at Trieste, and although he considered it an ignominious exile, he eventually came to cherish it as his home. There he stayed until his death, publishing an astonishing variety of books. He wrote a book on Iceland, one on Etruscan Bologna (reflecting his passion for archaeology a nostalgic volume on the sindh, two books on the gold mines of the midian, and one on the African Gold coast (now Ghana none of which matched the great. His book of the Sword (1884 a dazzling piece of historical erudition, brought him no more financial success than any of the others.

His explicit descriptions of tribal rituals concerning birth, marriage, and death, as well as fetishism, ritual murder, cannibalism, and bizarre sexual practices, though admired by modern anthropologists, won him no favour with the foreign Office, which considered him eccentric if not dangerous. Returning to london on leave in September 1864, burton was invited to debate with Speke before the British Association for the Advancement of Science. Speke, who with the British soldier and explorer James Augustus Grant had made a memorable journey from Zanzibar to lake victoria and then down the whole length of the nile, was expected to defend task his conviction that lake victoria was the true nile source. After the preliminary session on September 15, Speke went hunting, dying mysteriously as a result of a shotgun wound in his chest. The coroners jury ruled the death an accident, but Burton believed it to be a suicide. He wrote in anguish to a friend, The charitable say that he shot himself, the uncharitable say that I shot him. Burton spent the next four years as consul in Santos, Braz., where he wrote a book on the highlands of Brazil (1869) and translated vikram and the vampire, or Tales of Hindu devilry (1870).

best biographies and autobiographies

Seven of the best autobiographies

Speke was the first to return to london, where he was lionized and given funds to return to Africa. Burton, largely ignored and denied financing for a new exploration of his own, felt betrayed. His lake regions of Central Africa (1860) attacked Spekes claims and exacerbated their by then public feud. In 1860 Burton went off unexpectedly to the United States, where he traveled by stagecoach to the mormon capital, salt lake city. The resulting volume, city of the saints (1861 showed that he could write with sophistication about short the nature of the mormon church, compose a vivid portrait of its leader, Brigham young, and also be dispassionate about the mormon practice of polygamy, which was then outraging. Shortly after his return from the United States, in January 1861, he and Isabel Arundell, the daughter of an aristocratic family, whom he had been courting since 1856, were married secretly. Foreign office burton now entered the British Foreign Office as consul in Fernando po, a spanish island off the coast of West Africa. During his three years there, he made many short trips of exploration into west Africa, gathering enough material to fill five books.

At the dardanelles he helped train Turkish irregulars but saw no action at the front. The Crimean War over, he turned again to the nile search, leading an expedition inland from Zanzibar with John Speke in 185758. They suffered almost every kind of hardship Africa could inflict. When they finally arrived on the shores of lake tanganyika, burton was so ill from malaria he could not walk, and Speke was virtually blind. Ailing, and disappointed by native information that the rusizi river to the north poured into rather than out of the lake, burton wished to return and prepare a new expedition. Speke, however, who had recovered more quickly, pushed on alone to the northeast and discovered lake victoria, which he was convinced was the true nile source. Burtons unwillingness to accept this theory without further exploration led to quarrels with Speke and their eventual estrangement.

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best biographies and autobiographies

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Napier in 1845 asked him to write investigate the homosexual brothels in Karāchi; his explicit study resulted in their destruction; it also resulted, after Napiers departure, in the destruction of Burtons promising career, when the report was forwarded to bombay by an unfriendly officer who hoped. Though the effort failed, burton realized his reputation was irreparably clouded and returned, ill and disconsolate, to England. From his 29th to his 32nd year he lived with his mother and sister in boulogne, france, where he wrote four books on India, including Sindh, and the races That Inhabit the valley of the Indus (1851 a brilliant ethnological study, published before the new. Meanwhile he perfected his long-cherished plans for going to mecca. Exploration in Arabia disguising himself as a pathān, an Afghanistani muslim, in 1853 he went to cairo, suez, and Medina, then traveled the bandit-ridden route to the sacred city of Mecca, where at great risk he measured and sketched the mosque and holy muslim shrine. Though not the first non-Muslim to penetrate and describe the mother of cities, burton was the most sophisticated and the most accurate.

His Pilgrimage to El-Medinah and Mecca (185556) was not only a great adventure english narrative but also a classic commentary on Muslim life and manners, especially on the annual pilgrimage. Instead of returning to london to enjoy his sudden fame, however, he organized a new expedition in 1854 to the equally forbidden East African city of Harar (Harer) and became the first European to enter this Muslim citadel without being executed. He described his adventures in First footsteps in East Africa (1856). By this time burton had become fascinated by the idea of discovering the source of the White nile and in 1855 planned an expedition with three officers of the British East India company, including John Hanning Speke, intending to push across Somaliland. Africans attacked the party near Berbera, however, killing one member of the party and seriously wounding Speke. Burton himself had a javelin hurled through his jaw and was forced to return to England. After recovery, in July 1855, he went to Crimea to volunteer in the war against Russia.

He published 43 volumes on his explorations and almost 30 volumes of translations, including an unexpurgated translation. Early life and career, burton was of mixed English, Irish, and possibly French ancestry. His father, retiring early from an unsuccessful army career, chose to raise his two sons and daughter. France and, italy, where young Richard developed his astonishing talent for languages to such an extent that before matriculating at, trinity college, oxford, in 1840, he had become fluent. French, italian, and the béarnais and neapolitan dialects, as well as in, greek and, latin. But his continental upbringing left him ambivalent about his national identity.


He called himself a waif, a straya blaze of light, without a focus, and complained that. England is the only country where i never feel at home. Expelled from, oxford in 1842 because of a minor breach of discipline, he went to, india as subaltern officer in the 18th Regiment of Bombay native infantry during Englands war with the. Sindh (now a province of, pakistan ). He mastered, arabic and Hindī and during his eight-year stay became proficient also in Marāṭhī, sindhī, punjābī, telugu, pashto, and Multānī. Eventually in his travels over the world he learned 25 languages, with dialects that brought the number. As a favoured intelligence officer of Sir Charles James Napier, commander of the English forces in the sindh, captain Burton went in disguise as a muslim merchant in the bazaars, bringing back detailed reports.

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As such, the comedians memoir Born Standing Up, published in 2007, is an intriguing look into the mind of a fiercely private man. born Standing Up is full of hard-won personal truths, lightly tossed-off comic touches and astute observations about the 1970s, says Time magazine, calling it one of the best books of 2007. Hes also touchingly forthcoming about his difficult dessay childhood, all the more so since his personal revelations come to us untainted by any hint metamorphosis of exhibitionism. Fellow comedian Jerry seinfeld also heaped praise on the book, calling it one of the best books about comedy and being a comedian ever written. Larry cook is an aging farmer who decides to incorporate his farm, handing complete and joint ownership to his three daughters, ginny, rose, and Caroline. When the youngest daughter objects, she., wikipedia. Sir Richard Burton, in full, sir Richard Francis Burton, (born March 19, 1821, torquay, devonshire, england—died October 20, 1890, Trieste, austria-hungary now in Italy english scholar-explorer and Orientalist who was the first European to discover. Lake tanganyika and to penetrate hitherto-forbidden Muslim cities.

best biographies and autobiographies

An affecting, whimsical and often rather strange book, experience was met with rave reviews upon release in 2000. The daily telegraph described this peculiar memoir as one of the 20 best biographies and autobiographies of all time in a 2014 list. It is, the paper says, easily martin Amiss best book, in which he leaves behind the struggle for effect, stops trying to say anything serious, and in doing so creates something effective and serious about his early life, his relations with his father, the death. Lets Pretend This never Happened (a mostly True memoir by jenny lawson (2012) If, at any time in your life, youve battled anxiety or felt like a misfit, youll want to add this witty, riotous 2012 memoir to your reading list, says readers Digest. Lets Pretend This never Happened is by jenny lawson, a blogger who spent ten years at the houston Chronicle before creating her own site m - with a brief stint as reviewer of pornography for a sex-toy company in between, says The washington Post. Scattered with vibrant, colourful language, this thoroughly 21st-century autobiography is an imaginative and somewhat fantastical tale of Lawsons unusual life, including struggles with a severe anxiety disorder and miscarriages. Somehow it manages to keep readers laughing throughout. Born Standing Up, by Steve martin (2007) Comedian simple Steve martin was, for a period in the 1970s and early 80s, the worlds most famous stand-up comic. Yet his trajectory was a strange one - his breakthrough and rise to fame was as abrupt as his decision to stop performing in 1981, not returning to the field for 35 years.

culture in the region, Acimans memoirs are a wonderful slice of - admittedly rather unusual - life, rich with human sadness and humour at the transience of memories and phases of life. All, like the author of this book, will look back on their years in Alexandria with the melancholy knowledge that the past cannot be recaptured, wrote. The new York times upon its publication in 1995. Publishers weekly describes it as a marvellous memento of a place, time and people that have all disappeared. Narrative of the life of Frederick douglass, an American Slave, by Frederick douglass (1845 if there is one African American who can make the strongest claim to be the godfather of the literature derived from the black American experience, it must be Frederick douglass, writes. To some critics, he remains the most influential African American of the 19th century. Less a comprehensive life story of the remarkable slave-turned-orator, whose works were a major influence on the abolition movement in the us, narrative on the life is a brutal yet hopeful insight into a period of American history that at the time had been rarely. Narrative works as both a fascinating, priceless historical document and a landmark moment in black American literary culture that remains as shocking and essential today as it was in 1845. Experience, by martin Amis (2000 part-memoir and part-portrait of Martin Amiss father Kingsley, experience tells the story of the authors childhood, at times taking the form of a letter to his family and closest friends.

The diving Bell is a tragic story, but the metamorphosis deep introspection of bauby - who refers to himself as being both dead and alive throughout - offers readers a life-affirming, cathartic experience that. GoodReads describes as a small book composed of many big wonders. The year of Magical Thinking, by joan Didion (2003 in 2003, author and journalist joan Didions daughter quintana was hospitalised with a case of pneumonia that developed into severe septic shock. Days later, while quintana was still comatose in the hospital, her husband of nearly 40 years died suddenly of a heart attack while at the dinner table. Although often a difficult read, Didions attempts to piece her life tother in the year following her husbands death, while caring for quintana, is a powerful, delicate and often wryly humorous look at the human response to immense grief. Described by, readers Digest as a stunning memoir that exemplifies why your brain needs you to read every single day, the year of Magical Thinking won Didion the 2005 National book award for nonfiction and the Pulitzer Prize for biography or autobiography. Out of Egypt, by Andre Aciman (1995). Writer Andre Aciman was born and raised in Alexandria to a family of Sephardic Jews who had wandered from Italy to turkey, then settled in Egypt. His father owned a wool mill and his parents were very rich, as were the rest of the exotic clan who lived with them.

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Done well, an autobiography can be one of the most insightful - and powerful - literary forms. Done poorly, as roald Dahl complained, it is merely a book a person writes about his own life, and it is usually full of all sorts of boring details. Here are seven autobiographies guaranteed to hold your attention: The diving Bell and the butterfly, by jean-Dominic bauby (1997 extreme adversity, whether a product of illness, death or grief, is one of the most fertile breeding grounds for memoirs and autobiographical pieces. Few, however, have expounded so eloquently on such extreme circumstances as French author Jean-Dominique bauby. The diving Bell and the butterfly le Scaphandre et le papillon published in 1997. In 1995 at the age of 43, Bauby, then-editor of fashion magazine Elle, suffered a stroke, sending him into a coma. When he awoke he discovered that his entire body was paralysed, save for one of his eyelids - a condition known story as locked-in syndrome. See related, remarkably, bauby teamed up with a group of dedicated carers and medical staff and, by blinking his way through the alphabet, came up with a method of communication with the outside world, and ultimately used this technique to write a memoir.


Best biographies and autobiographies
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  1. Biographies and autobiographies give us an insight into the human condition, allowing us to see the world in a different way. Reading how fascinating people overcame their problems and made new discoveries can help us to see a way forward in our lives. As the Open Education Database (OEDb) puts. Gov brings you the latest images, videos and news from America's space agency.

  2. Done well, an autobiography can be one of the most insightful - and powerful - literary forms. Done poorly, as roald Dahl complained, it is merely a book a person writes about his own life, and it is usually full of all sorts of boring details. Here are seven autobiographies guaranteed to hold.

  3. Wells (1862-1931) was one of the foremost crusaders against black oppression. Discover the best biographies of Entertainers & Celebrities in Best Sellers. Find the top 100 most popular items in Amazon books Best Sellers.

  4. Our critics chose the greatest memoirs and biographies ever written, from the definitive biography of Winston Churchill to a dazzling graphic novel about a young girl's coming-of-age in Iran. Crusade for Justice: The autobiography of Ida. Wells (Negro American biographies and Autobiographies) Ida. Free shipping on qualifying offers.

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