Biography & Memoirs

Renaissance Manu

The French take philosophy seriously. The opinions of their philosophers are listened to, and anyone who matters is expected to have some grounding in the subject. Since the President himself...

  • LE PHILOSOPHE ET LE PRÉSIDENT

    François Dosse

  • Macron par Ricœur

    Pierre-Olivier Monteil

  • MACRON, UN PRÉSIDENT PHILOSOPHE

    Brice Couturier

Biography & Memoirs

Le grand Charles

There can be few more compelling subjects for a biography than Charles de Gaulle, the modern symbol of French grandeur. During his remarkable political career, he twice rescued his country...

  • A CERTAIN IDEA OF FRANCE

    Julian Jackson

Biography & Memoirs

Birth of a writer

In her sprawling autobiography L’Histoire de ma vie (published in twenty volumes, 1854–5), George Sand pauses at a certain moment to describe the start of her penchant for storytelling. During...

  • GEORGE SAND

    Martine Reid

  • LA PETITE FADETTE

    George Sand

Biography & Memoirs

Self-made Emperor

In the 1830s, William Spooner published a series of “Protean Views” for domestic entertainment. Spooner’s hand-coloured lithographs on transparent paper are optical toys that transform dramatically when lit from behind....

  • NAPOLEON

    Michael Broers

  • NAPOLEON

    Philip Dwyer

Biography & Memoirs

Daylight and magic

In My Life in Middlemarch (2015), Rebecca Mead tells the story of her life through her reading and rereading of George Eliot’s masterpiece. Her relationship with the novel, begun at...

  • BOOKWORM

    Lucy Mangan

  • GIRL WITH DOVE

    Sally Bayley

Biography & Memoirs

Tragic accomplice

Keep on writing,” Djuna Barnes urged Antonia White in 1937, “it’s a woman’s only hope.” If only she could have done: White had published Frost in May in 1933, but...

  • ANTONIA WHITE AND MANIC-DEPRESSIVE ILLNESS

    Patricia Moran

Biography & Memoirs

Emoji-studded rebellion

At the height of its allure, Islamic State was drawing hundreds of female Western recruits to the caliphate each season. Now that the group has all but collapsed, most of...

  • TWO SISTERS

    Asne Seierstad

Biography & Memoirs

Hippy hippy sheikh

Some years ago the New Statesman ran a competition for bogus proverbs, producing such gems as “An owl in a sack troubles no man”. They are oddly reminiscent of the...

  • KAHLIL GIBRAN

    Kahlil G. Gibran and Jean Gibran

Biography & Memoirs

Art of the heal

People can’t be looked after in slices”, writes Christie Watson in The Language of Kindness, her absorbing account of twenty years’ work as a nurse. Good nursing is about seeing...

  • THE LANGUAGE OF KINDNESS

    Christie Watson

Biography & Memoirs

Difficult to rattle

Most of us don’t know how we would behave if we were woken by a group of masked gunmen, but we probably wouldn’t address them with a bright “Good evening!”,...

  • THE MONK OF MOKHA

    Dave Eggers