Making history

When and how do biography and memoir become history?

How many of these biographies count as history? It was once thought, as Michael Holroyd called it, ‘the shallow end of history’, unable to provide sufficient context and with a tendency to exaggerate the role of individuals in the passage of time. Most scholars wouldn’t now deride the telling of individual life stories as an illegitimate form of historical pursuit, but it still has its critics. 

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