Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Entertaining Dr Johnson:intro.

April 7, 2008

Bringing a friend home to meet your father can be a fairly stressful occasion, one that is made much worse if your relationship with your father is a difficult one and you just know that your friend and your father aren’t going to get on well.  The potential social embarrassment is made infinitely worse if the father in question is a distinguished Scottish judge with traditional attitudes and strong views and the friend is known for his notoriously anti-Scottish views.

James Boswell

This was the explosive situation that James Boswell, advocate and author, got himself into in 1773 when, at the end of his tour of the Highlands with Dr Samuel Johnson, he and Johnson arrived at his father’s Ayrshire home, Auchinleck House, to stay for six days.  James Boswell’s father, Alexander, who had the title of Lord Auchinleck from his position as a judge of the Court of Session, was sixty-six years old. James, who was now thirty-three, had been in more or less constant conflict with his father since his teenage years – a relationship not helped by Alexander re-marrying after the death of James’s much-loved mother.  Alexander thought that James was too fond of loose living and running off to London and should instead concentrate on his family responsibilities as a recently married husband, and as heir to Auchinleck, and on his career at the Scottish bar.

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Writing Biography and Autobiography

March 26, 2008

I had written three book-length biographies and decided that I should put all that hard-earned experience to good use and so I persuaded A&C Black to add this title to their “Writing Handbooks” series. My thought was that we are all interested in people and many of us have wanted to write a life-story but have been unsure how to set about it or how to bring such a project to a satisfactory end. My book is, I hope, a practical and helpful introduction to writing biography and autobiography and looks at the various forms that such a project might take.

 

The historian and biographer Antonia Woodville was recently kind enough to comment in her blog:  “The book “Writing Biography and Autobiography” by Brian D Osborne has arrived. It’s a highly readable, interesting handbook.”

Click on the image below to go to Amazon.co.uk where you can buy this book