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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents a description of biography by an anonymous person. Biography professes to bring the reader into intimate personal association with each of its characters, to draw aside the veil that conceals from the world their domestic life, and to exhibit all their actions, great and small, without reservation and exaggeration. Reasoning powers of unusual clearness and vigour are needed to prevent the biographer from overloading his pages with such useless facts, which, while they cause him to neglect others on which may have hinged the destiny of the individual, and through him, perhaps, the destiny of the state, weary the reader with their details and ultimately consign the book to oblivion. Fidelity and impartiality are qualities so imperatively demanded, that without them, or an appearance of them, a biography, faultless in other respects, would be condemned and ostracized.

Keywords: biographer; biography; domestic life; reasoning powers



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