In this chronicle of his lifelong obsession with re-creating the lives of writers and scientists, Richard Holmes here casts a new eye not only on the Romantic poets and lost women of Romantic science he has long studied, but on their biographers, as well. He examines the evolution of the myths that have overshadowed certain lives (Percy Shelley's death at sea, Samuel Taylor Coleridge's opium-fueled lectures), and reveals how the manner in which each generation tells the stories of the lives that came before it shapes and is shaped by a contemporary understanding of human nature. These portraits are deftly woven with Holmes' own experience as a biographer. A spellbinding examination of the nature of biographical knowledge, brimming with the infectious curiosity of Holmes' catalog.
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