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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 Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man book

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

James Joyce

James Joyce's semi-autobiographical first novel, presented as part of the Folio Collectables range.

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Brief Lives book

Brief Lives

John Aubrey

Witty, tantalising and illuminating, John Aubrey’s great classic of biography allows a glimpse into a fascinating era, while humanising great figures of history such as Shakespeare, Francis Bacon and Thomas Hobbes.

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Cleopatra: A Life book

Cleopatra: A Life

Stacy Schiff

One of the most fascinating women in history, brilliantly re-examined in a stellar biography.

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The Dam Busters book

The Dam Busters

Paul Brickhill

Paul Brickhill’s account of 617 squadron’s legendary bombing raid is an exhilarating read, showcased in a suitably dramatic red and black binding.

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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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Down and Out in Paris and London book

Down and Out in Paris and London

George Orwell

The first book by the acclaimed author of Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm is a moving reportage document on the deprivations of poverty.

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The Gastronomical Me book

The Gastronomical Me

M. F. K. Fisher

The food memoir that inspired a new way of thinking about what we eat and how we live. Illustrated with 12 pages of black and white photos chronicling the author’s remarkable life.

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A Life in Letters and Diaries book

A Life in Letters and Diaries

George Orwell

Compiled exclusively for The Folio Society, this is a unique portrait of one of the 20th century’s most essential novelists and thinkers.

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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 Grasmere Journal book

The Grasmere Journal

Dorothy Wordsworth

An exquisite edition of Dorothy Wordsworth’s journal, famous for its nature writing and invaluable insight into the lives of the Romantic poets.

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Great Contemporaries book

Great Contemporaries

Winston S. Churchill

Written before he became prime minister, Churchill’s canny and witty insights on the great figures of the day remain entertaining and illuminating.

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In Patagonia book

In Patagonia

Bruce Chatwin

Described by the Guardian as ‘the book that redefined travel writing’, Chatwin’s idiosyncratic account of Patagonia thrums with surprising details and literary finesse. Featuring 22 photographs by the author, 9 of which are previously unpublished.

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Joseph Banks: A Life book

Joseph Banks: A Life

Patrick O'Brian

An inspired biography of the great naturalist and explorer, by the author of the much-loved Aubrey-Maturin novels.

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A Memoir of Jane Austen book

A Memoir of Jane Austen

J. E. Austen-Leigh

Now reissued in series with our Austen collection, this biography is an affectionate portrait of one of our best-loved writers, and the time in which she wrote.

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