Category Archives: Monitoring

Charles Darwin: a Victorian Mythmaker, by A.N. Wilson

A. N. Wilson
(
John Murray, 7 September 2017)

Editor’s presentation

Charles Darwin: the man who discovered evolution? The man who killed off God? Or a flawed man of his age, part genius, part ruthless careerist who would not acknowledge his debts to other thinkers?

In this bold new life – the first single volume biography in twenty-five years – A. N. Wilson, the acclaimed author of The Victorians and God’s Funeral, goes in search of the celebrated but contradictory figure Charles Darwin.

Darwin was described by his friend and champion, Thomas Huxley, as a ‘symbol’. But what did he symbolize? In Wilson’s portrait, both sympathetic and critical, Darwin was two men. On the one hand, he was a naturalist of genius, a patient and precise collector and curator who greatly expanded the possibilities of taxonomy and geology. On the other hand, Darwin, a seemingly diffident man who appeared gentle and even lazy, hid a burning ambition to be a universal genius. He longed to have a theory which explained everything.

But was Darwin’s 1859 master work, On the Origin of Species, really what it seemed, a work about natural history? Or was it in fact a consolation myth for the Victorian middle classes, reassuring them that the selfishness and indifference to the poor were part of nature’s grand plan?

Charles Darwin: Victorian Mythmaker is a radical reappraisal of one of the great Victorians, a book which isn’t afraid to challenge the Darwinian orthodoxy while bringing us closer to the man, his revolutionary idea and the wider Victorian age.

Biographical Notes

A. N. Wilson was born in North Staffordshire, and taught literature for seven years at New College Oxford, where he won the Chancellor’s English Essay Prize and the Ellerton Prize. He is the author of over twenty novels, and as many works of non-fiction. His biography of Tolstoy won the Whitbread Prize in 1988. His biography of Queen Victoria was published to critical acclaim. He is also the author of The Victorians and of God’s Funeral, an account of how the Victorians lost their faith. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and a Member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. He lives in London, and is the father of three daughters.

Publication: Dumas fils ou l’Anti-Oedipe Marianne Schopp, Claude Schopp

GONCOURT DE LA BIOGRAPHIE 2017

Éditions Phébus  (4 May 2017)

 

Presentation des Editions Phebus:

“On connaît La Dame aux camélias, l’histoire d’une courtisane abandonnée, qui inspira La Traviata. Mais qui se souvient de son auteur, Alexandra Dumas fils ? Ce fut pourtant l’un des plus célèbres dramaturges de son temps, aussi illustre que son père, le créateur des Trois Mousquetaires.

Tout le poussait à détester son géniteur : sa naissance hors mariage, leurs rivalités d’écrivains, leurs caractères opposés…. Mais l’enfant indigne se révéla un anti-Œdipe : protecteur de son paternel, cet « enfant qu’il eut tout petit ».

À partir de correspondances inédites, Marianne et Claude Schopp nous offrent la première biographie d’Alexandre Dumas fils. Un véritable roman, riche en rebondissements pour raconter une personnalité complexe, tour à tour défenseur des filles perdues et pourfendeur de la dissolution des mœurs. L’une des incarnations les plus clinquantes de la France artiste et bourgeoise de Napoléon III.

Claude Schopp est l’un des plus grands spécialistes d’Alexandre Dumas. On lui doit de nombreuses éditions critiques et la découverte d’œuvres inconnues du romancier. C’est notamment à lui que l’on doit d’avoir sorti de l’oubli Le Chevalier de Sainte-Hermine. Il est le responsable des Cahiers Dumas.

An eminent expert in Alexandre Dumas studies, Claude Schopp has published numerous critical studies and has brought to the fore several unknown works by Dumas. He is in charge of the Cahiers Dumas.

What’s on?

Check out these events and projects scheduled for the start of the new academic year.

EVENTS

Oxford Centre For Life Writing at Wolfson College, Oxford

The Oxford Centre for Life-Writing is organising an array of events for Michaelmas term, including talks on Female Celebrity, the relation between Ghost-Writing and Biography and even the biographical importance of Darwin’s beard. Get the full schedule on the OCLW’s website…

 

Center for Biographical Research at the University of Hawai’i

 

The Center for Biographical Research located in Mànao is hosting a series of Brown Bag talks to be held during the fall Read more on the CBR website…

 

 

RESEARCH PROJECTS

Untimely individuals – Biography Institute, Groningen

Untimely individuals a new research program that has been launched at the Biography Institute. In this project, biographies will be investigated with regard to insights they can provide in social political transitions and topical societal issues. Read on (redirects to the Biography Insitute)…

Biographer Gonzague Saint Bris (1948-2017)

Last summer, France lost two renowned biographers:

Max Gallo (1932 – July 2017)

Biographer, writer, historian, politician, member of the Académie française.

Biographies: Maximilien Robespierre, histoire d’une solitude (1968), Garibaldi, la force d’un destin(1982),  Le Grand Jaurès (1984), Jules Vallès (1988), Napoléon I, II, III, IV (1997), De Gaulle I, II, III, IV (1998), Une Femme rebelle : vie et mort de Rosa Luxembourg (2000), Victor Hugo I, II (2001), César Impérator, 2003, Louis XIV I, II (2007), « Moi, j’écris pour agir » Vie de Voltaire (2008), Henri IV, un roi français (2016)

Gonzague Saint Bris (1948 – Aug. 2017)

Biographer, writer, journalist.

Biographies: Desaix, le sultan de Bonaparte (1995), Alfred de Vigny ou la Volupté et l’honneur (1998), Agnès Sorel, beauté royale(1998), Le Sacre… et Bonaparte devint Napoléon (1999), La Grande Vie d’Alexandre Dumas (2001), Sur les pas de George Sand (2004), Sur les pas de Jules Verne (2005), Léonard ou le génie du Roi au Clos Lucé (2005), Sur les pas de Léonard de Vinci(2006), La Fayette (2006), François Ier et la Renaissance (2008), La Malibran (2009), Henry IV et la France réconciliée (2009), Au paradis avec Michael Jackson (2010), Alfred de Musset (2010), Balzac – Une vie de roman (2011), Rosa Bonheur (2012), En tête à tête avec Victor Hugo (2012), Louis XIV et le Grand Siècle (2012), Marquis de Sade – L’ange de l’ombre (2013), Le goût de Stendhal (2014), Louis XI, le méconnu, Albin Michel (2015).

Biographer Max Gallo (1932-2017)

Last summer, France lost two renowned biographers:

Max Gallo (1932 – July 2017)

Biographer, writer, historian, politician, member of the Académie française.

Biographies: Maximilien Robespierre, histoire d’une solitude (1968), Garibaldi, la force d’un destin(1982),  Le Grand Jaurès (1984), Jules Vallès (1988), Napoléon I, II, III, IV (1997), De Gaulle I, II, III, IV (1998), Une Femme rebelle : vie et mort de Rosa Luxembourg (2000), Victor Hugo I, II (2001), César Impérator, 2003, Louis XIV I, II (2007), « Moi, j’écris pour agir » Vie de Voltaire (2008), Henri IV, un roi français (2016)

Gonzague Saint Bris (1948 – Aug. 2017)

Biographer, writer, journalist.

Biographies: Desaix, le sultan de Bonaparte (1995), Alfred de Vigny ou la Volupté et l’honneur (1998), Agnès Sorel, beauté royale(1998), Le Sacre… et Bonaparte devint Napoléon (1999), La Grande Vie d’Alexandre Dumas (2001), Sur les pas de George Sand (2004), Sur les pas de Jules Verne (2005), Léonard ou le génie du Roi au Clos Lucé (2005), Sur les pas de Léonard de Vinci(2006), La Fayette (2006), François Ier et la Renaissance (2008), La Malibran (2009), Henry IV et la France réconciliée (2009), Au paradis avec Michael Jackson (2010), Alfred de Musset (2010), Balzac – Une vie de roman (2011), Rosa Bonheur (2012), En tête à tête avec Victor Hugo (2012), Louis XIV et le Grand Siècle (2012), Marquis de Sade – L’ange de l’ombre (2013), Le goût de Stendhal (2014), Louis XI, le méconnu, Albin Michel (2015).