Susan Manning Lecture 2015

Date(s) - 20/02/2015
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Lecture Theatre, 50 George Square

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The Susan Manning Lecture

Professor Dame Hermione Lee
University of Oxford
“Character in Biography: The Most Really Interesting Problem”

Leslie Stephen, editor of the Dictionary of National Biography and father of Virginia Woolf, wrote in an 1893 essay on “Biography” that “the most really interesting problem – that of the development of human character – is generally the most inscrutable”.

This lecture asks whether, and how, that “really interesting” and “inscrutable” problem can be solved in biography. How can “the development of human character” be represented in life-writing? What tools can be used? How far can we know and understand “character” in biography?  Hermione Lee, biographer of Virginia Woolf, Edith Wharton and Penelope Fitzgerald, and author of Biography: A Very Short Introduction and Body Parts: Essays on Life-Writing, discusses these questions in the Susan Manning Lecture for 2015.