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Biography (from the Greek words bios meaning "life" (βίος), and graphein meaning "write" (γράφω)) is a genre of literature and other forms of media such as film, based on the written accounts of individual lives. While a biography may focus on a subject of fiction or non-fiction, the term is usually in reference to non-fiction.


  • There is no heroic poem in the world but is at bottom a biography, the life of a man; also it may be said, there is no life of a man, faithfully recorded, but is a heroic poem of its sort, rhymed or unrhymed.
    • Thomas Carlyle, Sir Walter Scott. London and Westminster Review, 1838.
  • When I read the book, the biography famous,
    And is this then (said I) what the author calls a man's life?
    And so will some one when I am dead and gone write my life?
    (As if any man really knew aught of my life,
    Why even I myself I often think know little or nothing of my real life,
    Only a few hints, a few diffused faint clews and indirections
    I seek for my own use to trace out here.)

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