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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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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 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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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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Memoirs from Beyond the Tomb  book

Memoirs from Beyond the Tomb

François-René de Chateaubriand

Chateaubriand requested that his memoirs remain unpublished until after his death lest he be forced to be ‘less frank and truthful’. The result is a hugely entertaining autobiography, providing a vivid picture of France during the most tumultuous period of her history.

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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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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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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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Cider with Rosie book

Cider with Rosie

Laurie Lee

Laurie Lee’s charming memoir of a Cotswold childhood is presented here with John Ward’s illustrations from the first edition.

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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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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 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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