Richard holmes
Richard Holmes

Richard Holmes

This Long Pursuit: Reflections of a Romantic Biographer

Saturday 15 October 2016

1 Hour


Blenheim Palace, The Gallery



Ticket price

One of the greatest biographers of his age Richard Holmes reflects on the practice and importance of writing about a life.

Holmes changed the writing of biography forever with his publication of Footsteps in 1985, a series of essays that included his journey, sleeping rough, in the footsteps of Robert Louis Stevenson in the Cevennes, and his wanderings through Italy on the trail of Shelley. His subsequent works included Shelley: The Pursuit, winner of the Somerset Maugham Award, Coleridge: Darker Reflections, winner of the Duff Cooper Prize, and Dr Johnson and Mr Savage, winner of the James Tait Black Prize.

Here Holmes looks widely across the arts, science, poetry and inspiration to reflect on the art of writing biography. He looks at how women scientists have suffered the condescension of history and at how the reputations of favourite romantic figures such as Shelley, Thomas Lawrence, Coleridge and William Blake have changed spectacularly over time.