Compilations of biographies

De qué se hablaBiographies, Memoirs and Autobiographies

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Compilations of biographies

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1ejmw
Oct 18, 2016, 8:23am

I would use the word "metabiography", but that seems to mean something different from my meaning.

I'm looking for books that contain the biographies of many people for a particular subject area.

e.g. for Music, the books
The Lives of the Great Composers by Harold C. Schonberg and
The Essential Canon of Classical Music by David Dubal
cover composers to some extent, and I imagine that Lives of the Poets by Michael Schmidt would cover poets quite well (I've not read it)

Parallel Lives by Plutarch and The Lives of the Artists by Giorgio Vasari are perhaps the most notable historic examples, but I would prefer more current examples!

I'm especially interested in such biographies in the fields of Literature, Art, and Music, but I know that I and others would be interested in other subject areas too.

2MarthaJeanne
Editado: Oct 18, 2016, 9:27am

I've read a few such this year, but I see that most of them were in German. (I can borrow books in German from the library, but most of what I read in English has to be bought.)

Die Kaiserinnen des Mittelalters
Einmal bis ans Ende der Welt
Wir sind UNO (Autobiographical)
Woza Sisi

The housekeeper's tale : The Women Who Really Ran the English Country House
The Bishops

None of these books in German has been translated as far as I know, and only the first might be worth it. That one because of the subject matter - medieval empresses - which hasn't been much studied, but is of interest.

I can recommend the second to anyone who wants to practice their German on fairly easy material. It is about various explorers, and I read it with third and fourth graders as part of an attempt to make them see that they don't have to limit themselves to children's books.

The third is autobiographical essays by various Germans who have worked for the UN.

The fourth is about strong women in Africa, which is a good idea, but not that well carried out.

The Housekeeper's Tale was easily the best of these. I really enjoyed it. The women and the houses the were housekeepers for were different enough, as well as in different periods, so it stayed interesting.

The last one is only for those interested in Church of England bishops.