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Practice of Life Writing: Summer Preparation

All and any biographies and autobiographies are relevant to this module, so read as widely and freely as you can. Some suggestions are listed below and on the module reading list.

Keep writing through the summer, concentrating on observing the world around you. Think about why your environment is as it is, what pasts have shaped what you see and how you see it. If you possibly can, engage in some literary tourism: visit a writer's house (there is at least one accessible from most parts of Britain), walk where a writer walked, and think about the presentation of literary heritage. You will have an excellent head-start on this module if you can visit one of the museums of canonical writers (Woolf in Sussex, Hardy in Dorset, Dickens in London, the Brontes in Yorkshire or especially the Wordsworths in the Lake District - there are plenty more, and please contact me if you'd like help finding one).


Preparatory reading:

The following are recommended background texts:

Richard Holmes, Footsteps: Adventures of a Romantic Biographer, 1996

Ian Hamilton, Keepers of the Flame: Literary Estates and the Rise of Biography, 1992

Ann Hoffmann, Research: A Handbook for Writers and Journalists, 1975

The main set texts for the module are listed separately.

Have a good summer!