Thursday, February 5, 2009

Booking Through Thursday - February 5

Today's question:
Have you ever been put off an author’s books after reading a biography of them? Or the reverse - a biography has made you love an author more?

My response:

Literary biographies are not a type of book I tend to gravitate toward. If I seek one out, I generally already have a positive view of the author and want to learn how their life may have influenced their work. Among the very few I own are Jane Austen: A Life by Claire Tomalin and Edith Wharton by Hermione Lee.

I started reading the Jane Austen biography in anticipation of our trip to London and Bath last summer. The Wharton biography was also purchased last summer at The Mount, Edith Wharton's home in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts, but I have yet to read it.

When I do read a literary biography, I like to pair it with an appropriate bookmark (shallow, maybe, but it adds to my enjoyment). The two on the left are from the Jane Austen Centre in Bath, the one on the right is from The Mount.
So, the long-winded answer to the question is no, I have never been put off an author's books by reading a biography, but I have gained greater appreciation and understanding of authors whose biographies I have sought out.


  1. Not shallow at all...I am reading Anne of Green Gables and am using a bookmark from Canada:)

  2. I thought I was probably alone in my "appropriate bookmark" mania. I usually end up having to make my own. And I agree - if I read an author's biography or auto-bio, then it probably means I've already fallen in love with their work and that's not really likely to change, no matter what I might learn about their private life.

  3. BookPsmith - Thanks for visiting.
    It sounds like you found a perfect bookmark for Anne!

    Joy - It seems that there are several of us out there suffering from this mania...maybe we should form a support group ;-) Handmade bookmarks are the best! Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Fabulous post, love the bookmarks! Bookmark Support Group - sign me up.

  5. Darlene,
    I knew you were a kindred spirit
    as far as the bookmarks go - lol!
    I'll have to give this a little more thought, but it would be fun to do some sort of bookmark exchange/give-away...guess I'd be considered an enabler.

  6. I love that you match the bookmarks with your books!

    I hadn't considered classic authors, isn't that funny. My post about Raffi was the first one that popped into my head, probably because that was the only one that left me with a different (negative) impression.

    Thanks for visiting!
    She is Too Fond of Books

  7. Dawn,
    Funny that Raffi is the first thing you thought of...but that usually makes for the best post!

    I've been selecting a bookmark that fits the book for years. It may have started with a horse bookmark I used for Marguerite Henry's books when I was young.

    Thanks for stopping by!


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