Re-reading Biography?

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Lukemk824

Puritan Board Freshman
Hello all,

I was pondering the other day, whether there be much benefit in re-reading biography. I have never read a particular biography more than once myself. Have any of you? Do you have an argument for the benefit of re-reading good biography? I have known of the general benefit of re-reading, and am curious if that benefit translates to this kind of literature. Any favorite biographies that you return to often or every now and then?

Thanks!
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Yes. Like any other genre, biographies can be profitable being reread. For example, I found Russell Kirk's autobiography "Sword of the Imagination", written in the third person, particularly enriching.
 

Lukemk824

Puritan Board Freshman
Yes. Like any other genre, biographies can be profitable being reread. For example, I found Russell Kirk's autobiography "Sword of the Imagination", written in the third person, particularly enriching.
I’ve never heard of that one! Thanks for sharing.
 

Logan

Puritan Board Senior
Certainly depends on the biography, but I think I could re-read Manchester's three-volume biography on Churchill and Caro's (currently) four-volume biography on Lyndon Johnson with great relish and reward. Both are masterpieces of biography and history (and I say that as someone who is absolutely not a fan of LBJ in the slightest).
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Certainly depends on the biography, but I think I could re-read Manchester's three-volume biography on Churchill and Caro's (currently) four-volume biography on Lyndon Johnson with great relish and reward. Both are masterpieces of biography and history (and I say that as someone who is absolutely not a fan of LBJ in the slightest).
You're not a big fan of LBJ. Could have fooled me all of these years.
 

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
In re-reading, you'll pick up on things you missed the first time around. Re-reading also can lead to a deeper understanding of the subject of the biography.

If you haven't read it, you should read The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D, by James Boswell. Originally published in 1791, it's still considered the first modern biography and the greatest biography in the English language.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
Speaking as someone who has written a biography, there are not that many of them which I have re-read. Finlay Holmes's Henry Cooke, Eric Foner's The Fiery Trial (Abe Lincoln), and Andrew Hoffecker's Charles Hodge are the only ones that immediately spring to mind. I am also hoping to re-read Iain Murray's Jonathan Edwards at some point in the near future. Generally speaking, most biographies are overly long and detailed. Hence, by the time you get to the end of them, you never want to read them again. Every biography that I would consider re-reading is fewer than 300 pages of text.
 
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Lukemk824

Puritan Board Freshman
Certainly depends on the biography, but I think I could re-read Manchester's three-volume biography on Churchill and Caro's (currently) four-volume biography on Lyndon Johnson with great relish and reward. Both are masterpieces of biography and history (and I say that as someone who is absolutely not a fan of LBJ in the slightest).
I
In re-reading, you'll pick up on things you missed the first time around. Re-reading also can lead to a deeper understanding of the subject of the biography.

If you haven't read it, you should read The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D, by James Boswell. Originally published in 1791, it's still considered the first modern biography and the greatest biography in the English language.
fascinating!
 
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