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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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 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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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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Shakespeare book

Shakespeare

Anthony Burgess

Novelist and linguist Anthony Burgess’s study paints a fascinating portrait of a man who is both one of history’s most famous figures, and one of its biggest mysteries.

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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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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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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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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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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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