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y separately published work icon Clio’s Lives : Biographies and Autobiographies of Historians anthology   criticism   autobiography   biography  
Issue Details: First known date: 2017... 2017 Clio’s Lives : Biographies and Autobiographies of Historians
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Including contributions from leading scholars in the field from both Australia and North America, this collection explores diverse approaches to writing the lives of historians and ways of assessing the importance of doing so. Beginning with the writing of autobiographies by historians, the volume then turns to biographical studies, both of historians whose writings were in some sense nation-defining and those who may be regarded as having had a major influence on defining the discipline of history. The final section explores elements of collective biography, linking these to the formation of historical networks. A concluding essay by Barbara Caine offers a critical appraisal of the study of historians’ biographies and autobiographies to date, and maps out likely new directions for future work.'  (Publication summary)

Notes

  • Dedication: This volume is affectionately dedicated to the memory of Geoffrey Bolton (1931-2015)

  •  Only literary material by - or about Australian authors individually indexed. Other material in this issue includes:

    • Ceci n’est pas Ramsay Cook: A Biographical Reconnaissance by Donald Wright
    • Intersecting and Contrasting Lives: G.M. Trevelyan and Lytton Strachey by Alastair MacLachlan

    • An Ingrained Activist: The Early Years of Raphael Samuel by Sophie Scott-Brown

    • Imperial Women: Collective Biography, Gender and Yale-trained Historians by John G. Reid

     

Contents

* Contents derived from the Canberra, Australian Capital Territory,:Australian National University Press , 2017 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Introduction, Doug Munro , John G. Reid , single work criticism

'This volume of essays was inspired by the increasing though still-limited body of scholarship connecting the writing of history directly with the lives of those who write it, and the contributions were initially presented as papers at an intensive workshop held at The Australian National University in July 2015. While the writing of historians’ lives by themselves or others is not new in itself – Edward Gibbon’s Memoirs of My Life and Writings, for example, appeared posthumously in 1796 – considerable discussion flowed during the 1980s and 1990s from the publication of Pierre Nora’s Essais d’ego-histoire.  The extent of subsequent developments is demonstrated in the seminal work in the English language – Jeremy Popkin’s History, Historians, & Autobiography – where the significant increase in historians’ autobiographies and associated discussion of the genre becomes evident.' (Introduction)

(p. 1-16)
Walvin, Fitzpatrick and Rickard : Three Autobiographies of Childhood and Coming of Age, Doug Munro , Geoffrey Gray , single work criticism

'Once a comparatively rare beast, historians’ autobiographies are becoming prevalent to the point of being commonplace. Since the 1980s, such works have crystallised into a genre and have become a historiographic growth area. Limiting the head count to monograph-length works, a dozen historians’ memoirs were published in the 1970s, rising to three dozen in the 1980s, five dozen in the 1990s, and the contributions continue apace. Once on the fringes of the historical enterprise, historians’ memoirs are now edging closer to centre stage. Increasing frequency has lent respectability. There remain significant pockets of resistance, the usual canards being that autobiography is inescapably egotistical, self-indulgent and narcissistic. Nonetheless, the genre is rapidly gaining acceptance and being treated seriously – and not simply historians’ autobiographies but autobiography by academics generally. Almost without exception, historians’ autobiographies contain a chapter or chapters on childhood and coming of age. In parallel with the increasing prevalence of historians’ autobiographies, a subgenre devoted to the childhoods through to the young adulthoods of historians has also become a growth area. We are concerned in this chapter with three such works: Sheila Fitzpatrick’s My Father’s Daughter (2010); John Rickard’s An Imperial Affair (2013); and James Walvin’s Different Times (2014).' (Introduction)

(p. 39-64)
The Female Gaze : Australian Women Historians’ Autobiographies, Ann Moyal , single work criticism

'A striking number of Australian women have ventured into the autobiographical genre. While a slew of immigrant men were producing their personal odysseys of pioneering endeavour and the exploration and appropriation of a new land in the nineteenth century, a regiment of women from diverse backgrounds began to record their remembered experiences and specific local responses to colonial life. The women’s stories were very different. Franker, relational, concerned with childhood, people and places, some masquerading as regional or local history, in a strongly masculine society they were often judged as ‘unimportant’ or ‘trivial’ and not given publication at the time of writing. But they came to lay the foundation of ‘a complementary culture’ to male autobiography with its ongoing emphasis on national identity and image, and they have been judged by literary and historical scholars as a rich and unique reading experience.'  (Introduction)

(p. 65-80)
‘National Awakening’, Autobiography, and the Invention of Manning Clark, Mark McKenna , single work criticism
'In the late twentieth century, Australian historian Manning Clark (1915–1991) was the nation’s leading historian and public intellectual. Clark published a six-volume history of Australia (1962–1987) and was one of a vanguard of intellectuals striving to articulate a new Australian nationalism in the wake of the British Empire’s decline. His best-known volumes of autobiography were published in quick succession. Puzzles of Childhood (1989), which tells the story of his parents’ lives and the ‘nightmares and terrors’ of his childhood, and Quest for Grace (1990), which begins from his days as a student at Melbourne and Oxford universities in the 1930s and ends just as the first volume of A History of Australia is published in 1962. In addition to these two volumes, Clark’s autobiographical writings extended to reflections on historical writing, essays, speeches and interviews. This paper argues that all of Clark’s writing (including his histories) can be seen as inherently autobiographical. As Clark remarked, ‘everything one writes is a fragment in a gigantic confession of life’. Clark’s autobiographical writings point not only to the notorious unreliability of autobiography but also to much larger questions, such as the relationship between autobiographical truth and his invention as a national figure, and the author’s right to own their life story. Finally, perhaps more than any other Australian intellectual of his generation, Clark’s autobiographies narrate his life story as an allegory of national awakening. ...'
(p. 81-102)
Pursuing the Antipodean : Bernard Smith, Identity and History, Sheridan Palmer , single work criticism

'Identity mattered to Bernard Smith, probably more than for most people. As an illegitimate child and a fostered ward of the state, anonymity had haunted him, but it also drove his ambitions. By using these two opposing structures as tension rods, identity and anonymity, he sought validation through his work and recognition as an art and cultural historian. His revision of Australia’s modern cultural evolution, written from a fiercely independent position, was based around colonial inheritance, cultural traffic and transformation, but it was also intended to shake up an ‘uncritical culture’ and situate it in a more conspicuous international position. From the mid-1940s, his historiography became the benchmark for scholars and artists in their pursuit of, or argument with, Antipodean identity and cultural autonomy, and this chapter seeks to explain why Bernard Smith’s rethinking of antipodeanism – a term he coined – and his aim to legitimate Australian culture within a globalised postwar world was a pioneering and brilliant study of cultural origins and evolution; at a personal level it reflected his own genesis.' (Introduction)

(p. 199-226)
Australian Historians Networking, 1914–1973, Geoffrey Bolton , single work criticism

'The Oxford English Dictionary defines networking as ‘the action or process of making use of a network of people for the exchange of information, etc., or for professional or other advantage’. Although recently prominent in management theory, the art of networking has been practised over many centuries in many societies, but its role in the Australian academic community has been little explored. This essay represents a preliminary excursion into the field, raising questions that more systematic researchers may follow in time, and drawing unashamedly on the resources of the Australian Dictionary of Biography. Beginning on the eve of the First World War, the essay is bounded by the formation of the Australian Historical Association in 1973, at which date the profession provided itself with a formal structure for the creation and nurturing of networks that would benefit the scholarly advancement of individuals and the coherence of the discipline as a whole.' (Introduction)

(p. 227-246)
Country and Kin Calling? Keith Hancock, the National Dictionary Collaboration, and the Promotion of Life Writing in Australia, Melanie Nolan , single work criticism

'In his international comparison of history, historians and autobiography in 2005, Jeremy D. Popkin concluded that Australian historians were early to, and enthusiastic about, the ego-histoiremovement or the ‘setting down [of] one’s own story’. Australians anticipated Pierre Nora’s collection of essays, Essais d’ego-histoire, which was published in 1987. They had already founded ‘a series of autobiographical lectures in 1984’, which resulted in a number of publications, and Australian historians’ memoirs thereafter appeared at a rate of more than one a year. When he considered Australian historians’ memoirs more specifically in 2007, Popkin argued that ‘[o]n a proportional basis, more historians from Australia than from any other country’ have written ego-histoire: he had identified ‘more than three dozen different’ Australian historians who had written her or his memoirs compared to just 200 United States historians’ published memoirs. Popkin also argued that contemporary Australian historians’ memoirs helped to establish ‘a tradition of first-person writing, a relatively recent development in their own culture’ and that they had greater impact in Australia than groups of other historians elsewhere in other countries. Works by both male and female authors such as Keith Hancock, Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Bernard Smith, Jill Ker Conway, Manning Clark, Ann Moyal and Inga Clendinnen constituted a distinctive strain of historical life writing generally and had become major contributions to the national literature. This creative non-fiction won major mainstream literary prizes, not simply specialist history ones. Australian historians’ life writing had a greater impact within society than French or US contemporaries had in theirs, according to Popkin, because of the literary quality of the work and the ‘high degree of authorial self-consciousness’ in the context of a relatively new sense of Australian cultural identity.' (Introduction)

(p. 247-272)
Concluding Reflections, Barbara Caine , single work criticism

'In the last couple of decades, many historians have sought to move beyond the longstanding and probably futile quest to establish the precise place of biography in history and instead explore a number of new ways of thinking about the relationship between history and individual lives. One of these ways focuses on historians themselves and on the different kinds of insights that an exploration of their lives can offer. As one can see in this volume, several different approaches have been taken to this question, with some historians turning to write their own autobiographies, and exploring the broader historical understanding that can be gained from describing and analysing one’s own experience, while others have sought rather to see whether a study of the lives of particular historians, either individually or in groups, offers a new understanding of the kinds of history that they wrote and of broader developments within the discipline.' (Introduction)

(p. 301-306)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Canberra, Australian Capital Territory,: Australian National University Press , 2017 .
      image of person or book cover 330527032480144368.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Link: 12037640Full text document Sighted: 18/10/2017
      Extent: 1vp.
      Note/s:
      • Publication date: October 2017

      ISBN: 9781760461430
      Series: y separately published work icon ANU Lives Series in Biography Canberra : ANU E View , 2008- 12037237 2008 series - publisher criticism

      'The ANU Lives Series in Biography is an initiative of the National Centre for Biography in the History Program in the Research School of Social Sciences at The Australian National University. The National Centre was established in 2008 to extend the work of the Australian Dictionary of Biography and to serve as a focus for the study of life writing in Australia, supporting innovative research and writing to the highest standards in the field, nationally and internationally. Books that appear in the ANU Lives series are lively, engaging and provocative, intended to appeal to the current popular and scholarly interest in biography, memoir and autobiography. They recount interesting and telling life stories and engage critically with issues and problems in historiography and life writing.'  (Publication summary)

Works about this Work

[Review] Clio's Lives : Biographies and Autobiographies of Historians Libby Connors , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: The Australian Journal of Politics and History , September vol. 65 no. 3 2019; (p. 510-511)

— Review of Clio’s Lives : Biographies and Autobiographies of Historians 2017 anthology criticism autobiography biography

'This is a book that practicing historians are sure to enjoy and that all writers of biography should read. Its twelve chapters cover the practice of autobiography, biographical introductions to Australian and Canadian “national” historians and to Australian female historians; it also includes research on the personal networks that bound the history departments of Australian universities up to the 1980s, those of American female historians in the interwar years, and the origins of that great national resource, the Australian Dictionary of Biography. There are also two chapters on British historians that offer insights into the intellectual histories of their eras, although Raphael Samuel's great contribution was to educational practice through the influential History Workshop Journal. If this seems a strange combination it is a product of the book's origins in an Australian National University workshop in 2015 which resulted in participants then contributing their papers to this edited collection.'  (Introduction)

Historians’ Autobiographies and Biographies David Carment , 2018 single work review
— Appears in: History Australia , vol. 15 no. 2 2018; (p. 381-383)

— Review of Clio’s Lives : Biographies and Autobiographies of Historians 2017 anthology criticism autobiography biography

'Clio’s Lives is a most welcome and highly readable addition to scholarly literature on autobiography and biography. Inspired by ‘the increasing though still-limited body of scholarship connecting the writing of history directly with the lives of those who write it’ (1), it is based on a workshop held in Canberra during 2015. Part of the ANU Lives Series in Biography, the book brings together contributions from 13 highly regarded authors. Eleven of them are associated with Australian universities and two with Canadian universities. They discuss a quite wide variety of historians. Following the editors’ introduction, the four sections focus on historians’ autobiographies, historians who have defined their nation, those who have defined their discipline and collective biography of historians. Barbara Caine provides concluding reflections. Autobiography and biography are linked with intellectual and social developments. Clio’s Lives not only presents the results of its contributors’ research but also illuminates significant historiographical issues.'  (Introduction)

Introduction Doug Munro , John G. Reid , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: Clio’s Lives : Biographies and Autobiographies of Historians 2017; (p. 1-16)

'This volume of essays was inspired by the increasing though still-limited body of scholarship connecting the writing of history directly with the lives of those who write it, and the contributions were initially presented as papers at an intensive workshop held at The Australian National University in July 2015. While the writing of historians’ lives by themselves or others is not new in itself – Edward Gibbon’s Memoirs of My Life and Writings, for example, appeared posthumously in 1796 – considerable discussion flowed during the 1980s and 1990s from the publication of Pierre Nora’s Essais d’ego-histoire.  The extent of subsequent developments is demonstrated in the seminal work in the English language – Jeremy Popkin’s History, Historians, & Autobiography – where the significant increase in historians’ autobiographies and associated discussion of the genre becomes evident.' (Introduction)

Historians’ Autobiographies and Biographies David Carment , 2018 single work review
— Appears in: History Australia , vol. 15 no. 2 2018; (p. 381-383)

— Review of Clio’s Lives : Biographies and Autobiographies of Historians 2017 anthology criticism autobiography biography

'Clio’s Lives is a most welcome and highly readable addition to scholarly literature on autobiography and biography. Inspired by ‘the increasing though still-limited body of scholarship connecting the writing of history directly with the lives of those who write it’ (1), it is based on a workshop held in Canberra during 2015. Part of the ANU Lives Series in Biography, the book brings together contributions from 13 highly regarded authors. Eleven of them are associated with Australian universities and two with Canadian universities. They discuss a quite wide variety of historians. Following the editors’ introduction, the four sections focus on historians’ autobiographies, historians who have defined their nation, those who have defined their discipline and collective biography of historians. Barbara Caine provides concluding reflections. Autobiography and biography are linked with intellectual and social developments. Clio’s Lives not only presents the results of its contributors’ research but also illuminates significant historiographical issues.'  (Introduction)

[Review] Clio's Lives : Biographies and Autobiographies of Historians Libby Connors , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: The Australian Journal of Politics and History , September vol. 65 no. 3 2019; (p. 510-511)

— Review of Clio’s Lives : Biographies and Autobiographies of Historians 2017 anthology criticism autobiography biography

'This is a book that practicing historians are sure to enjoy and that all writers of biography should read. Its twelve chapters cover the practice of autobiography, biographical introductions to Australian and Canadian “national” historians and to Australian female historians; it also includes research on the personal networks that bound the history departments of Australian universities up to the 1980s, those of American female historians in the interwar years, and the origins of that great national resource, the Australian Dictionary of Biography. There are also two chapters on British historians that offer insights into the intellectual histories of their eras, although Raphael Samuel's great contribution was to educational practice through the influential History Workshop Journal. If this seems a strange combination it is a product of the book's origins in an Australian National University workshop in 2015 which resulted in participants then contributing their papers to this edited collection.'  (Introduction)

Introduction Doug Munro , John G. Reid , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: Clio’s Lives : Biographies and Autobiographies of Historians 2017; (p. 1-16)

'This volume of essays was inspired by the increasing though still-limited body of scholarship connecting the writing of history directly with the lives of those who write it, and the contributions were initially presented as papers at an intensive workshop held at The Australian National University in July 2015. While the writing of historians’ lives by themselves or others is not new in itself – Edward Gibbon’s Memoirs of My Life and Writings, for example, appeared posthumously in 1796 – considerable discussion flowed during the 1980s and 1990s from the publication of Pierre Nora’s Essais d’ego-histoire.  The extent of subsequent developments is demonstrated in the seminal work in the English language – Jeremy Popkin’s History, Historians, & Autobiography – where the significant increase in historians’ autobiographies and associated discussion of the genre becomes evident.' (Introduction)

Last amended 16 Sep 2019 09:16:47
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