how to write ‘romantic’ biographies

9780307379689-fullsize-cmykMichael Dirda at The Washington Post:

Holmes’s “This Long Pursuit” is itself a complement to two earlier volumes: “Footsteps: Adventures of a Romantic Biographer” (1985) and “Sidetracks: Explorations of a Romantic Biographer” (2000). All three are, essentially, collections of essays, talks, reminiscences and reviews held together by their author’s description of himself as a “romantic biographer.” That phrase carries multiple meanings: While Holmes’s field is, roughly, England in the age of Coleridge, he sometimes writes about romantic figures of other nations and periods (poet Gérard de Nerval, novelist Robert Louis Stevenson) and he himself clearly possesses an adventurous, romantic spirit.

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