We’ve been looking through our image database recently and we started noticing an interesting trend in some of the collective biographies we have digitally available in our MiniShowcase. There are a number of texts that felt the need to justify the project at hand, to explain why the author chose to wrote a collective biography, and to argue for the relevance of this kind of project. We will be sharing a few of these books over the coming weeks and we hope to inspire some scholarly interest in this very bizarre practice!
Without further ado… our first selection is from Lives of Good and Great Women by Robert Cochrane.
“New books of biography are, on the face of things, an absolute necessity. We need not forget our old heroes, our ancient ideals, and yet we may well feel that to learn something about the trials and struggles, the methods of work, and the ultimate triumphs of those who have but recently passed away, or who are still among us, may be more helpful to us in our own place. The roads of life, so to speak, have not been changed since these trod them: we can trace their very footprints. Above all, they prove to us that our century is not necessarily the ignoble time which the Present always seems to some, but that all the materials of romance and heroism lie around us still, waiting for the soul worthy of moulding them to right ends.”