Is biography still relevant?

Harvey circulation illustrationThe Guardian books podcast of 26 October 2012 poses the question of whether ‘biography is still a relevant form of writing’, despite its obvious popularity (apparently around 2,000 new biographies are published every year). Two of the books under discussion are historical biographies: Thomas Wright’s Circulation: William Harvey’s Revolutionary Idea: and Tom Reiss’s The Black Count: Revolution, Betrayal and the Real Count of Monte Cristo, the story of Alexandre Dumas’s father, the inspiration behind his famous novel. The authors speak about what drew them to their subjects, and the relevance that their stories have for contemporary readers.

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