By Ira Bruce Nadel (auth.)
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Extra resources for Biography: Fiction, Fact and Form
I am half ashamed of the business in one way, for it seems wicked to pick the plums out of poor old Bozzy, and yet that is all that is to be done; and the plums are very fine ones. J. in any way and guess that he would have hardly attracted me very much in his life-time; but I don't know any one whom I enjoy so much in 'the subjective stage of existence,' as the positivists say. His unreason is so incomparably better to my taste than Macaulay's good sense. Biography as Institution 43 Morley was not as disturbed by Stephen's work, although he was upset by the visual look of the page.
Demonstrating the value of George Stephenson's great word'Perseverance' - Smiles sought to show how success can be 'accomplished by means of individual industry and energy' which we all possess. George Stephenson, railway engineer and inventor, was one of his early examples and Smiles's personal acquaintance plus curiosity and admiration of him led to his 24 Biography: Fiction, Fact and Form research and publication of his Life of George Stephenson (1857), perhaps the first Victorian biographical bestseller.
A tension emerges in the lives between his determination to stress the products of industrious self-improvement and his interest in conveying something of the personality of those involved with the life of his subject. Indeed, a curious feature of the Lives is that one appears to know more about the personality of the secondary figures than that of the major subjects. The Duke ofBridgewater, to whom Smiles devotes several chapters, is an example of this interest in a secondary character who in fact is more attractive than the major figure.
Biography: Fiction, Fact and Form by Ira Bruce Nadel (auth.)