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Sidetracks: Explorations of a Romantic Biographer
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Sidetracks: Explorations of a Romantic Biographer

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  36 ratings  ·  3 reviews
In 1985 Richard Holmes published a book called "Footsteps," and the writing of biography was changed forever. A daring mixture of travel, biographical sleuthing, and personal memoir, it broke all the conventions of the genre and remains one of the most intoxicating and magical works of modern literary investigation ever written.
Now Holmes has put together a further and wo
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published November 14th 2000 by Pantheon (first published January 1st 2000)
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I enjoyed his pieces on Godwin and Wollstonecraft, Voltaire and Boswell, and his radio-play about Shelley... I found all of them illuminating and intelligent. His comments about his sojourns in Paris sounded a little smug to me, though...

And there were LOTS of typos (very careless editor here).

For an absolutely wonderful book by Holmes, read his biography of Shelley.
Courtney Johnston
Richard Holmes puts together a very enjoyable sampler that is both an introduction to his own thinking about biography, and to a cast list of vaguely and strongly interlinked characters from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (with F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald bringing us into the 20th).

The collection begins with Holmes' very first biographical piece, a study of the vastly precocious poet Thomas Chatterton who committed suicide (or overdosed accidentally) at the age of 17, shortly after mo
Holmes is SUCH a pleasure to read, whoever his subject may be, known to me beforehand or not. I'm happy to have most of his "Shelley" ahead of me, and then "Footsteps," "Dr. Johnson & Mr. Savage," and the newest one, about hot air ballooning.
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Biographer Richard Holmes was born in London, England on 5 November 1945 and educated at Downside School and Churchill College, Cambridge. His first book, Shelley:The Pursuit, was published in 1974 and won a Somerset Maugham Award. The first volume of his biography of the po
More about Richard Holmes...
The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science Falling Upwards: How We Took to the Air Coleridge: Early Visions, 1772-1804 Shelley: The Pursuit Footsteps: Adventures of a Romantic Biographer

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