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Biography

“By telling us the true facts, by sifting the little from the big, and shaping the whole so that we perceive the outline, the biographer does more to stimulate the imagination than any poet or novelist save the very greatest. For few poets and novelists are capable of that high degree of tension which gives us reality. But almost any biographer, if he respects facts, can give us much more than another fact to add to our collection. He can give us the creative fact; the fertile fact; the fact that suggests and engenders. Of this, too, there is certain proof. For how often, when a biography is read and tossed aside, some scene remains bright, some figure lives on in the depths of the mind, and causes us, when we read a poem or a novel, to feel a start of recognition, as if we remembered something that we had known before.” –Virginia Woolf

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    Writing Great Tom: T. S. Eliot & the Keepers of the Flame
    Writing Great Tom: T. S. Eliot & the Keepers of the Flame

    Writing Great Tom: T. S. Eliot & the Keepers of the Flame is the journal T. S. Matthews kept as he worked on the first major biography of T. S. Eliot, Great Tom: Notes Towards the Definition of T. S. Eliot. Matthews described those three years as “living a detective story.” The journal is composed of reflections, interviews, and dozens of letters to and from people ranging from Robert Lowell and Edmund Wilson, Mary Trevelyan and Valerie (Mrs. T. S.) Eliot. It was filed away with his papers, which eventually went to Princeton University, and discovered decades later. Writing Great Tom shows how Matthews brought to light Eliot’s first wife, Vivien Haigh-Wood, and his companion of many decades, Emily Hale. He also interviewed Mary Trevelyan, whose account of her relationship with Eliot was published in 2022 – more than sixty years after she wrote it. Sara Fitzgerald, who discovered the Matthews archive, has contributed a foreword, available here.

    $29.99$49.99
    Berkshire Dictionary of Chinese Biography Volume 4
    Berkshire Dictionary of Chinese Biography Volume 4

    Volume 4 of the Berkshire Dictionary of Chinese Biography is a stand-alone handbook of short biographies of key people in China since 1979. It is a companion to the first 3 volumes, which contain long-form essays by many of the world’s leading China scholars about key figures who have shaped, influenced, and transformed China over the millennia: emperors, politicians, poets, writers, artists, scientists, explorers and philosophers. This is the first time that such comprehensive collection has been available in English, produced by internationally recognized experts, and designed to satisfy the growing thirst for knowledge about China. “No biographical dictionary of China has successfully replaced Herbert Giles’s [1898] work until the new DCB. It’s about time!” –Benjamin Elman, Princeton University.

    $199.00
    Berkshire Dictionary of Chinese Biography
    Berkshire Dictionary of Chinese Biography

    The Berkshire Dictionary of Chinese Biography uses the life stories of 135 key individuals, selected from the earliest dynasties to the present day, to tell the story of China itself over the entire span of its history.

    $595.00
    Berkshire Dictionary of Chinese Biography 4-Volume Set
    Berkshire Dictionary of Chinese Biography 4-Volume Set

    The Berkshire Dictionary of Chinese Biography uses the life stories of key individuals, selected from the earliest dynasties to the present day, to tell the story of China itself over the entire span of its history. Volume 4, available separately, is on contemporary figures. Long-form essays by  many of the world’s leading China scholars introduce key figures who have shaped, influenced, and transformed China over the millennia: emperors, politicians, poets, writers, artists, scientists, explorers and philosophers. This is the first time that such comprehensive collection has been available in English, produced by internationally recognized experts, and designed to satisfy the growing thirst for knowledge about China. “No biographical dictionary of China has successfully replaced Herbert Giles’s [1898] work until the new DCB. It’s about time!” –Benjamin Elman, Princeton University.

    $779.00

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