Richard Holmes

(b. 1945)

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(1945– ),

biographer, born in London and educated at Churchill College, Cambridge. His first major biography, Shelley: The Pursuit (1974), was followed by other works including the semi‐autobiographical Footsteps: Adventures of a Romantic Biographer (1985), which broke new ground in its account of Holmes's personal experiences and travels in the course of pursuing subjects which included Gérard de Nerval and R. L. Stevenson. This influential work was instrumental in creating a more personal approach to the art of biography, in which the narrator feels able to intrude his or her own thoughts and feelings. Sidetracks: Explorations of a Romantic Biographer (2000) continues his biographical pursuits. Dr Johnson and Mr Savage (1993) explores the relationship of the two poets, and their early days of poverty together in London, and seeks to reinterpret Johnson's attitude to Savage. His two‐volume biography of Coleridge, Early Visions (1989) and Darker Reflections (1998), is a magisterial, scholarly, and deeply sympathetic account, written with sensitivity, colour, and passion.

Subjects: Literature.

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