Portal:Biography
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Portal:Biography

Introduction

Third Volume of a 1727 edition of Plutarch's Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans printed by Jacob Tonson

A biography, or simply bio, is a detailed description of a person's life. It involves more than just the basic facts like education, work, relationships, and death; it portrays a person's experience of these life events. Unlike a profile or curriculum vitae (résumé), a biography presents a subject's life story, highlighting various aspects of his or her life, including intimate details of experience, and may include an analysis of the subject's personality.

Biographical works are usually non-fiction, but fiction can also be used to portray a person's life. One in-depth form of biographical coverage is called legacy writing. Works in diverse media, from literature to film, form the genre known as biography.

An authorized biography is written with the permission, cooperation, and at times, participation of a subject or a subject's heirs. An autobiography is written by the person himself or herself, sometimes with the assistance of a collaborator or ghostwriter.

Featured biography

Portrait of Skanderbeg in the Uffizi, Florence
George Kastrioti Skanderbeg (6 May 1405 - 17 January 1468), widely known as Skanderbeg (from Turkish: ?skender Bey), was a 15th-century Albanian lord. He was appointed as the governor of the Sanjak of Dibra by the Ottomans in 1440. In 1444, he initiated and organized the League of Lezhë and defended the region of Albania against the Ottoman Empire for more than two decades. Skanderbeg's military skills presented a major obstacle to Ottoman expansion, and he was considered by many in western Europe to be a model of resistance against the Ottoman Muslims. Skanderbeg is Albania's most important national hero and a core figure of the Albanian National Awakening. Skanderbeg was born in 1405 to the noble Kastrioti family, in the Shëgjerth neighborhood of Sinë, a village in Dibra. Sultan Murad II took him hostage during his youth and he fought for the Ottoman Empire as a general. In 1443, he deserted the Ottomans during the Battle of Ni? and became the ruler of Krujë. In 1444, he organized local leaders into the League of Lezhë, a federation aimed at uniting their forces for war against the Ottomans. Skanderbeg's first victory against the Ottomans, at the Battle of Torvioll in the same year, marked the beginning of more than 20 years of war with the Ottomans. Skanderbeg's forces achieved more than 20 victories in the field and withstood three sieges of his capital, Krujë.

In 1451 he recognized himself as a vassal of the Kingdom of Naples through the Treaty of Gaeta, to ensure a protective alliance. In 1460-1461, he participated in Italy's civil wars in support of Ferdinand I of Naples. In 1463, he became the chief commander of the crusading forces of Pope Pius II, but the pope died while the armies were still gathering. Left alone to fight the Ottomans, Skanderbeg did so until he died in January 1468.

Marin Barleti's biography of Skanderbeg, written in Latin and in a Renaissance and panegyric style, was translated into all the major languages of Western Europe from the 16th through the 18th centuries. Such translations inspired an opera by Vivaldi, and literary creations by eminent writers such as playwrights William Havard and George Lillo, French poet Ronsard, English poet Byron, and American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. (Read more...)

Selected portrait

Lillian Gish-edit1.jpg
Credit: Bain News Service, restored by jjron

Lillian Diana Gish (October 14, 1893 – February 27, 1993) was an American stage, screen, and television actress, director and writer whose film acting career spanned 75 years, from 1912 to 1987. She was a prominent film star of the 1910s and 1920s, particularly associated with the films of director D. W. Griffith, including her leading role in Griffith's seminal Birth of a Nation.

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"I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me."

-- Isaac Newton

Quoted in Memoirs of the Life, Writings and Discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton by Sir David Brewster, 1855

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  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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