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The Art of Literary Biography$
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John Batchelor

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780198182894

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198182894.001.0001

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Starting Again: One of the Problems of the Biographer

Starting Again: One of the Problems of the Biographer

(p.201) 13 Starting Again: One of the Problems of the Biographer
The Art of Literary Biography


Oxford University Press

This chapter attempts to focus on the biography of Emily Tennyson, the poet's wife. A question mark slipped into the original subtitle of the chapter: ‘Starting again — one of the problems of the biographer?’. A great deal has been said and written about the problems of the ‘true representation of a fellow human being’, of the impossibility of really understanding someone else's life and about the practical problems of finding out, of filling in the gaps, about the problems of copyright and invasion of privacy, about the unreliability of witness, spoken and written, and the constant rewriting of history by everyone, main characters and bit players alike. Starting again, the theories of biography in Emily Tennyson matter very little as the chapter is more deeply involved in Tennyson's life. It requires an experienced instinct to understand how to deal with the material that was found.

Keywords:   Emily Tennyson, biography, biographer

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