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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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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Chateaubriand requested that his memoirs remain unpublished until after his death lest he be forced to be ‘less frank and truthful’.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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Period Piece: The Cambridge Childhood of Darwin's Granddaughter book

Period Piece: The Cambridge Childhood of Darwin's Granddaughter

Gwen Raverat

The captivating memoir of an unusual 19th century childhood from pioneering wood engraver, and Charles Darwin’s granddaughter, Gwen Raverat.

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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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Ring of Bright Water book

Ring of Bright Water

Gavin Maxwell

Gavin Maxwell’s beloved memoir about life with otters is published here with previously unseen colour photographs.

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The Rise and Fall of the House of Medici book

The Rise and Fall of the House of Medici

Christopher Hibbert

The story of Italy’s first family is one of political cunning, artistic genius, infidelity, execution and revenge. With sumptuous colour illustrations.

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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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Strange Defeat book

Strange Defeat

Marc Bloch

A compelling first-hand account of the Fall of France in 1940, written before its author was executed by the Nazis.

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Wind, Sand & Stars book

Wind, Sand & Stars

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

A captivating memoir of the early days of flight, by the author of The Little Prince, with an introduction by Cecil Lewis.

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