Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 03 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter uses Margaret Oliphant’s work on a biography of the deposed Church of Scotland preacher Edward Irving (1792–1834) as a case study in the professionalization of Life writing in the nineteenth century. It points to some of the literary developments and fashions that made biography popular despite its tendency to over-respectful, hyper-respectable treatment of its subjects. It charts some of the challenges and opportunities biographical evidence and research afforded, including the chance to probe the conventions of gender. It argues that biography offered a space in which authors—including authors outside the academy—could participate in the writing of the past and in the representation of local and national identities, as well as in the ongoing discussion about heroes and their role in Victorian culture.

Keywords: authorship, biography, evangelical, hero, Irving, letters, Life writing, memoirs, Oliphant, Scotland

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.