All posts by AG

About AG

Associate Professor, Department of English, Rutgers University, New Brunswick

Biography (Woolf et al.)

As I did not give an overview of Woolf’s life in class, I wanted to signal resources for concise lives of authors. All our authors from Britain have entries in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (called “the DNB”), a fascinating reference book. The article on Woolf in the DNB, by Lyndall Gordon, gives an overview of the life and work.

For American authors there is no single authoritative source like the DNB. The Reference section in Alexander has the print version of American National Biography. The many volumes of the Dictionary of Literary Biography, also at Alexander Reference, cover writers from many nations. For now, you can search (some of) the latter via the Gale Literature Resource Center database; make sure to click the checkbox that limits your search to “Biographies.” (This database also includes scholarship about literature, but it is not the best tool for searching for scholarship; the MLA International Bibliography is.)

Woolf’s father, Leslie Stephen, was the founding editor of the DNB.