Biographies and Autobiographies

Discover the incredible lives of some of the world’s most influential historical figures. The Folio Society publishes a selection of fascinating biography books, from autobiographies of great leaders, including Mahatma Gandhi, to the personal memoirs of ordinary people in extraordinary times. Folio books include carefully researched images and photographs and come with beautiful hardback bindings. See below for the full list of Folio Biographies.

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A New Birth of Freedom: Selected Writings of Abraham Lincoln book

A New Birth of Freedom: Selected Writings of Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

Compiled by award-winning biographer Fred Kaplan, this collection, unique to Folio, brings together the best of Abraham Lincoln's speeches, letters and articles to give the reader intimate insight into the particular nature of his political and literary genius.

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An Expression of the American Mind book

An Expression of the American Mind

Thomas Jefferson

This collection, commissioned by Folio, presents the best of Jefferson’s writings: political correspondence with George Washington, private letters to his wife and his lover and documents that express his views on everything from America's future, the nature of democracy and slavery.

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Between Silk and Cyanide book

Between Silk and Cyanide

Leo Marks

Unpublished until 1998 because of the Official Secrets Act, Leo Marks's memoir of his time as part of SOE has been acclaimed as one of the greatest accounts of espionage in the Second World War. An unforgettable story of heroism under fire, gallows humour, unswerving loyalty and fatal mistakes.

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The Campaigns of Alexander book

The Campaigns of Alexander

Arrian

Written in the 2nd century AD and featuring a new preface by Annabel Lyon, this account of Alexander's conquests is a classic of ancient military history.

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Conrad's Congo book

Conrad's Congo

Joseph Conrad

Unique to Folio, this collection explores the genesis of Heart of Darkness. With an introduction by Conrad expert J. H. Stape and contemporary photographs.

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The Diary of a Country Parson book

The Diary of a Country Parson

The Reverend James Woodforde

An idyllic existence brought to life in the famously charming diary of Parson Woodforde.

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The Discovery of Tahiti book

The Discovery of Tahiti

George Robertson

A vivid and lively account of the HMS Dolphin’s visit to Tahiti, featuring exquisite wood engravings by Robert Gibbings.

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Eleanor of Aquitaine book

Eleanor of Aquitaine

Alison Weir

A revealing portrait of one of the most powerful women in history, who remained the subject of scandalous rumour throughout her life and beyond.

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John Adams book

John Adams

James Grant

John Adams - revolutionist, political theorist. One of four acclaimed biographies of America's Founding Fathers in a superb Folio collection.

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God's Englishman book

God's Englishman

Christopher Hill

This exhilarating book has never been surpassed as a portrait of Oliver Cromwell and his times.

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The Meaning of Hitler book

The Meaning of Hitler

Sebastian Haffner

Sebastian Haffner’s penetrating study helps us understand Hitler’s rise from obscure failure to powerful dictator, examining his motives and his ultimate downfall. Mark Roseman, prize-winning author of books on Nazism, introduces the Folio edition.

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With Napoleon in Russia 1812 book

With Napoleon in Russia 1812

Lieutenant Heinrich Vossler

A compelling and honest account of one of the most infamously devastating conflicts in war history, told by an officer serving in Napoleon’s army.

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No Cloak, No Dagger book

No Cloak, No Dagger

Benjamin Cowburn

A magnificent, spirited portrait of life as a secret agent in occupied France.

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Once There Was a War book

Once There Was a War

John Steinbeck

The first illustrated edition of Steinbeck’s absorbing dispatches for the New York Herald Tribune.

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The Pillow Book of Sei Shōnagon book

The Pillow Book of Sei Shōnagon

Sei Shōnagon

The revelatory personal writings of a lady at the court of Empress Sadako, luxuriously illustrated with watercolour paintings.

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