Show Summary Details
Page of

date: 03 August 2021

p. 1017. Public Roleslocked

p. 1017. Public Roleslocked

  • Hermione Lee


What is the biography's relation to the performance aspect of identity, the individual's public role? ‘Public Roles’ explores the often difficult task of disentangling the public performance from the real person. This is explored in respect of different subjects for biography — literary biography, philosophers, and those whose lives are known for action and narrative rather than words or ideas. The importance of setting lives in their context is particularly acute when the subject is a leader or politician. This is illuminated by the lives of the banker, J. P. Morgan, and Stalin.

Access to the complete content on Very Short Introductions online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.