National Biographer’s Day is observed annually on May 16 to commemorate a momentous occasion. The famous poet, essayist, literary critic, editor, and lexicographer Samuel Johnson and his biographer James Boswell met for the first time. Essentially, a biography is a genre consisting of a written account of another person’s existence. Did you realise that biographies have existed since the time of the Roman Empire?
The background of National Biographer’s Day
On May 16, 1750, Samuel Johnson, himself a biographer, met his biographer James Boswell in London, England. The greatest biographers, according to Johnson, ate, drank, and maintained social relations with the person they were writing about.
Johnson and Boswell’s encounter resulted in the publication of one of the most celebrated biographies in English literature. The research and narrative style of James Boswell set the standard for biographers, as his biography of Johnson was regarded as one of the finest in the English language.
However, it is believed that biographies existed long before that meeting. One of the earliest biographies was believed to have been published during the Roman Empire. Biography began to emerge in the 1800s and attained its modern form at the turn of the 20th century. Following this, biographies experienced a period of stagnation, while autobiographies became more popular and have remained pertinent to this day in the form of memoirs.
Biographies continue to be an important source of information for students, academics, and readers equally. Biographies are extremely popular because they offer a comprehensive look at a person’s life. In addition, biographies have evolved and found a foothold in the form of multimedia in recent years. Documentary biographical films, commercial films, etc. are included.
It is only fitting that there is a day dedicated to honouring biographers who painstakingly chronicle a person’s life in such a way that it touches the hearts of its readers.
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