Century Past Biographies: I, J, K & L


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920 Biography I, J, K & L

Ibsen (Literary lives)

Scribner 1908
Gosse, Edmund WilliamGo to Book

DDC: Biography

“A temperate but appreciative study of Ibsen’s peculiar genius, the influence molding it and its significance in the development of Norwegian literature and culture.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Ibsen, Henrik (1828-1906)

Life and letters of Washington Irving

Putnam 1883
Irving, Pierre MunroeGo to Vol 1|Go to Vol 2|Go to Vol 3

DDC: Biography

“The standard complete life.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Irving, Washington (1783-1859)

Recollections of a foreign minister

Doubleday 1921
Iswolsky, Alexander Petrovich Go to Book

DDC: Biography

Careful pictures of men and events in Russia from 1905 to 1917 as seen by the minister of foreign affairs, a moderate liberal who saw his country the unhappy victim of the extremes.
— A.L.A. Catalog 1912-1921

Iswolsky, Alexander Petrovich (1856-1919)

Isabella d’Este, Marchioness of Mantua, 1474-1539, a study of the Renaissance

Dutton 1923
Ady, Julia Mary (Cartwright)Go to Vol 1|Go to Vol 2

DDC: Biography

“Records the brilliant life and achievements of “a typical child of the Renaissance,” a woman remarkable for her beauty, her promotion of art and letters, and her statesmanship. “Isabella will be long remembered as the fairest and most perfect flower of womanhood which blossomed in the immortal days of the Italian Renaissance.””
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Isabella d’Este, Consort of Giovanni Francesco II, Marquis of Mantua (1474-1539)

Andrew Jackson (American statesmen)

Houghton 1917
Sumner, William Graham Go to Book

DDC: Biography

“An able critical treatment of Jackson’s part in the political and financial history of the United States from 1824 to 1840. An excellent brief life.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Jackson, Andrew, U.S. President (1767-1845)

Stonewall Jackson (American crisis biographies)

Macrae-Smith 1909
White, Henry AlexanderGo to Book

DDC: Biography

“An excellent biography, based on original sources, earlier lives and the official records. Valuable on the military side.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Jackson, Thomas Jonathan (1824-1863)

The Letters of William James

Atlantic monthly 1920
James, Henry, ed.Go to Vol 1|Go to Vol 2

DDC: Biography

“The whole man, with his wide interests in philosophy, medicine, painting, and writing, as well as the home and Harvard life, is admirably disclosed in his letters, pencil sketches and in the biographical sketch by his son.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926
“What letters! The letters of Lamb, of Edward Fitzgerald, are not more delightful. The best of them, naturally, are to philosophers and men of letters, who evoked from him an amazing multiplicity of ideas and to whom he let fly a delicious compound of sound reason and jocularity.”
“In what other collection of letters shall we find a writer so swift, so vivid, so varied and so spontaneous? James reveals to us all his moods. his likes and dislikes, his communing with the universe, his fun. Unintentionally, he writes his autobiography, in which we trace his intellectual development.”
– The Book Review Digest

James, William (1842-1910)

Jean Jaures, socialist and humanitarian

Huebsch 1917
Pease, Margaret Go to Book

DDC: Biography

This book has been written to acquaint English readers with the socialist editor, author, orator and parliamentary leader whom J. Ramsay Macdonald, in his introduction, calls “the greatest democratic personal force in Europe – even in the world,” and who, after having spent the last day of his life in a vain effort to avert the war, was assassinated on July 31, 1914. Chapter 1 gives “a. short sketch of the man and his career.” Succeeding chapters on Socialism, Jaures and the Dreyfus case, Socialist methods, “The new army,” and International peace, while giving Jaures’s views and actions, necessarily also contribute much to the history of French socialism.
“Many hoary old calumnies are brought forward against Catholicism.”
– The Book Review Digest

Jaures, Jean (Auguste Marie Joseph Jean Léon Jaurès) (1859-1914)

John Jay (American statesmen)

Houghton 1917
Pellew, GeorgeGo to Book

DDC: Biography

“An unusually clear picture of the Revolutionary period and the two succeeding decades, which abounds in excerpts from Jay’s correspondence.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Jay, John (1745-1829)

Maid of France. Being the story of the life and death of Jeanne D’Arc

Longmans 1908
Lang, Andrew Go to Book

DDC: Biography

“An exhaustive, scholarly work, the most complete and critical biography in English. The author’s issue with Anatole France’s conception of the Maid in Vie de Jeanne d’Arc gives the narrative a controversial tone that detracts from its interest for general reading.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926
“Mr Lang’s own conception of Jeanne is very simple and uncompromising: she was gifted with ‘genius’ which should be the marvel of the world while the world stands’; she was not only brave, saintly and a natural leader of men, but of a high intelligence. … He will have nothing to do with the theory of clerical inspiration; he holds that . . . she was as far as possible from the ordinary type of the mystic or hysteric.”
– Standard Catalog for Public Libraries : Biography Section (1927)

Jeanne d’Arc, Saint (1412-1431)

Joan of Arc

Houghton 1896
Lowell, Francis Cabot Go to Book

DDC: Biography

Distinctly the best thing in the English language on the life and career of the Maid of Orleans. Based on latest French authorities.
— A.L.A. Catalog 1904
“Mr Lowell’s design is to exclude the legendary element by stating just what is known of Joan’s actual life and achievements. The result is that her personality stands out pure, strong and simple without artificial light.”
– Standard Catalog for Public Libraries : Biography Section (1927)

Jeanne d’Arc, Saint (1412-1431)

Thomas Jefferson. (American statesmen)

Houghton 1917
Morse, John Torrey Go to Book

DDC: Biography

“Chiefly devoted to Jefferson’s official career after 1790 – his relations to Washington, Hamilton, Randolph, and Burr, to the Louisiana purchase, and to the embargo – receiving particular attention. Based on Randall’s Life and Jefferson’s Works.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Jefferson, Thomas, U. S. President (1743-1826)

Thomas Jefferson (Figures from American history)

Scribner 1918
Muzzey, David SavilleGo to Book

DDC: Biography

“This book is pleasing because it is a smooth-flowing narrative stressing fairly all of the outstanding events in the career of America’s first great party leader.”
“A brief, lucid, impartial résumé. The author combines enthusiasm for the merits of his subject, without which a good biography cannot be written, with a keenly critical judgment of Jefferson’s limitations.”
“Long familiarity with American political history with its shifting perspective, has given Dr Muzzey an excellent background for this scholarly and useful work.”
– The Book Review Digest

Jefferson, Thomas, U. S. President (1743-1826)

Sir William Johnson and the Six nations (Makers of America)

Dodd 1891
Griffis, William ElliotGo to Book

DDC: Biography

Practically Indian history of Mohawk valley. Dwells longest on earlier and less generally known portion of Johnson’s life and gives but cursory review of later and more active years.
— A.L.A. Catalog 1904

Johnson, William, 1st Baronet (1715-1774)

Life and letters of John Paul Jones

Scribner 1913
De Koven, Anna (Farwell) Go to Vol 1|Go to Vol 2

DDC: Biography

“A most thorough biography based on extended research and original sources. It is interesting and though not impartial is in the main convincing.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Jones, John Paul (1747-1792)

Letters of a Javanese princess

Knopf 1920
Kartini, Raden Adjeng Go to Book

DDC: Biography

A fine-spirited vigor pervades this record of the struggles of a regent’s daughter against traditional restrictions in obtaining her education and in working for the emancipation of her country-women. Pictures oriental social life and attitudes.
— A.L.A. Catalog 1912-1921

Kartini, Raden Adjeng (1879-1904)

John Keats, his Life and Poetry, his Friends, Critics and After-fame

Scribner 1917
Colvin, Sir Sidney Go to Book

DDC: Biography

“This careful, thorough, tactful, and exhaustive work renders obsolete all previous expressions of opinion upon Keats; it deserves, indeed, to be labelled with the final word, ‘definitive.’”
“It is a book to read with delight; better still, it is a book that compels one to turn back and reread the poet himself.”
“Manifestly a labour of love, this admirable work illuminated throughout with thorough knowledge and fine critical acumen, deserves to take high rank in the select company of kindred classics. But the book is not only of absorbing interest as a masterly presentment of the poet and his work; it also teems with vivid studies of the circle in which he lived.”
– The Book Review Digest

Keats, John (1795-1821)

The Story of my Life, by Helen Keller, with her letters (1887-1901) and a supplementary account of her education, including passages from the reports and letters of her teacher, A. M. Sullivan

Doubleday 1914
Keller, Helen AdamsGo to Book

DDC: Biography

“Letters and experiences of the courageous girl, blind and deaf from infancy, who educated herself despite these handicaps.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926
“The book is indeed unique. The story itself and the years of effort which have made its telling possible, the personality which it reveals, and the creation of that personality,—these are things which seem little short of miraculous. The narrative of a young woman who has been deaf and blind from infancy is written in a style which is not only idiomatic, but individual and rhythmical. As one reads, one forgets to make allowances for limitations which are apt to slip out of sight, until a chance phrase recalls one with a start to the realization that the mind which deals so freely and normally with the ordinary factors of human life dwells forever in silence and the dark.”
– Standard Catalog for Public Libraries : Biography Section (1927)

Keller, Helen Adams (1880-1968)

Memoirs of an American Prima Donna

Putnam 1913
Kellogg, ClaraGo to Book

DDC: Biography

“A volume of entertaining reminiscences presenting ‘vivid pictures of her life on the operatic stage of America and Europe from the year 1861, when she made her debut to the time of her retirement from the stage. . . . in 1887.”
– Standard Catalog for Public Libraries: Biography Section (1927)
“This story of the first American prima donna presents an interesting picture of operatic life in Europe and America and introduces many noted singers and men of letters.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

For more about 19th century theatre and entertainment, see:
– Cody, Mrs. Louisa (Frederici) and Cooper, C. R., Memories of Buffalo Bill in Century Past Biographies: C
;
– Ringling, Alfred, Life Story of the Ringling Brothers in Biographies & Memoirs in Wisconsin History;
Daly, Joseph Francis, Life of Augustin Daly in Century Past Biographies: D, E & F;
Barnum, P. T., Struggles and Triumphs: or, Forty years’ Recollections of P.T. Barnum in Century Past Biographies: A & B;
Sherman, Robert L, The Chicago Stage; its Records and Achievements in Illinois Cultural History;
Strang, Lewis C., Famous Actresses of the Day in America in Century Past Collective Biography Q – Z;
Carson, William G. , The Theatre on the Frontier; the Early Years of the St. Louis Stage in Illinois Cultural History

Kellogg, Clara Louise (1842-1916)

Memoirs of a Revolutionist

Houghton 1899
Kropotkin, PeterGo to Book|Go to Book

DDC: Biography

Published in Atlantic monthly Sep. 1898-Sep. 1899 under title The autobiography of a revolutionist. Graphic details of Russian conditions and of an eventful life.
— A.L.A. Catalog 1904
“Kropotkin’s story is a singularly rich, diversified, and romantic one, and it is attractively told. Nothing more interesting in its way has ever been written than the chapters relating his prison life and escape. The book abounds in instructive pictures of Russian life and character, done with unconscious art.”
– Standard Catalog for Public Libraries : Biography Section (1927)

Kropotkin, Pyotr Alexeyevich, Prince (1842-1921)

The True La Fayette

Lippincott 1919
Morgan, GeorgeGo to Book

DDC: Biography

“The book describes not only the life of La Fayette, but the France of his time and the French revolution. The contents are: At Chavaniac—a lordling of Auvergne; College, court, camp; For human rights—the American revolution: Campaigning in America; Before the outbreak; La Fayette in the French revolution; His crisis and his critics; Five years in dungeon depths; In Napoleon’s time; The great tour—5000 miles in America; His last revolution (1830); At La Grange — last days.”
“Mr Morgan’s interesting book paints for us a vivid and living picture of this hero’s career.”
– The Book Review Digest

Lafayette, Marie Joseph Paul Roch Yves Gilbert de Motier, Marquise de (1757-1834)

Life and Letters of Sir Wilfrid Laurier

Toronto: Oxford University 1921
Skelton, Oscar DouglasGo to Vol 1|Go to Vol 2

DDC: Biography

The official biography, the work of a partisan admirer, of one of the greatest statesmen in Canada.

Laurier, Wilfrid (1841-1919)

Robert E. Lee and the Southern confederacy, 1807-1870 (Heroes of nations)

Putnam 1902
White, Henry Alexander Go to Book

DDC: Biography

For biographies of Civil War Generals, see:
– Grant, F. D., ed., Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant in Century Past Biographies: G & H
;
Sherman, William Tecumseh, Personal Memoirs in Century Past Biographies: S;
Johnston, Robert M., Leading American Soldiers in Century Past Collective Biography G – P;
Bradford, Gamaliel, Confederate portraits in Century Past Collective Biography A – F;
Bradford, Gamaliel, Union portraits in Century Past Collective Biography A – F

Lee, Robert Edward (1807-1870)

Abraham Lincoln. (American statesmen)

Houghton 1917
Morse, John Torrey Go to Vol 1|Go to Vol 2

DDC: Biography

“A condensed but clear presentation, careful of facts and inviting confidence.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Lincoln, Abraham, U. S. President (1809-1865)

A Short Life of Abraham Lincoln condensed from Nicolay & Hay’s Abraham Lincoln: a history

Century 1903
Nicolay, John GeorgeGo to Book

DDC: Biography

[The Nicolay & Hay book is] “… the standard authoritative life of Lincoln, by two men who knew and served Lincoln in an official capacity. Nicolay’s Short life of Abraham Lincoln is an excellent abridgment.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926
“The authors, as private secretaries to President Lincoln, stood in most intimate and confidential relations with him, and had his approval of this history for which they began to prepare during the war. Their work is really a history of the period with Lincoln as the central figure, particular attention naturally being given to the political struggle preceding the war, and to the narrative of military events.”
– Standard Catalog for Public Libraries : Biography Section (1927)

Lincoln, Abraham, U. S. President (1809-1865)

For much more on Abraham Lincoln, see the Lincoln page on this website, containing free online biographies, works by Lincoln, speeches, historical analysis and fiction.

Go to Lincoln Page

Liszt and his Music

Lane 1911
Hervey, ArthurGo to Book

DDC: Biography

“An admirable account of Liszt the man, the composer, conductor and teacher, giving most space to his compositions and the influence of his personality.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

For works about composers, see:
– Fischer, George Alexander, Beethoven, a Character Study; together with Wagner’s indebtedness to Beethoven in Century Past Biographies: A & B
;
Fuller-Maitland, John Alexander, Brahms in Century Past Biographies: A & B;
Huneker, James Gibbons, Chopin, the Man and his Music in Century Past Biographies: C;
Duncan, Edmondstoune, Schubert in Century Past Biographies: S;
Henderson, William James, Richard Wagner; His Life and his Dramas in Century Past Biographies: W, X, Y & Z;
Dole, Nathan Haskell, Famous Composers in Century Past Collective Biographies – Authors A–F

Liszt, Franz (1811-1886)

The Life of David Livingstone

London: Murray 1911
Blaikie, William GardenGo to Book

DDC: Biography

Livingstone, David (1813-1873)

The Life and Labors of David Livingstone, LL.D, D.C.L.

Jones 1918
Grandgent, Charles HallGo to Book

DDC: Biography

(title continued) ” … Covering His Entire Career in Southern and Central Africa. Carefully prepared from the most authentic sources … A thrilling narrative of the adventures, discoveries, experiences and achievements of the greatest explorer of modern times in a wild and wonderful country …

Livingstone, David (1813-1873)

Mr. Lloyd George

Doran 1922
Raymond, Edward ThompsonGo to Book

DDC: Biography

“A careful and searching study animated by a desire to understand the statesman and the man. It is kept constantly interesting by the author’s lightness of touch, swift irony, and power of keen analysis.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Lloyd George, David (1863-1945)

Book of Jack London

Century 1921
London, CharmianGo to Vol 1|Go to Vol 2

DDC: Biography

“London’s early life, his struggle to find self-expression in writing, and his varied and adventurous experiences as man and author portrayed in part through his letters.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926
“Those of us who knew Jack London ever so slightly feel that in her book Charmian London has given us a life-sized portrait of the man. More than that, as his wife she has held herself up to him as the mirror for his personality; and in her love, her devotion, her understanding, we see Jack London as it would have been impossible for us to see him through any other medium. ‘The Book of Jack London’ will be an inexhaustible source for other studies of Jack London that may come.”
– Standard Catalog for Public Libraries : Biography Section (1927)

London, Jack (1876-1916)

Autobiography of St Ignatius

Benziger 1900
Loyola, Ignacio de, St., ed. by J.F.X. O’Conor Go to Book

DDC: Biography

The founder of the Roman Catholic Jesuit order (Society of Jesus).

Loyola, Ignacio de, St (1491-1556)

Ignatius Loyola; an Attempt at an Impartial Biography

Macmillan 1923
Sedgwick, Henry DwightGo to Book

DDC: Biography

“An English biography by a non-Catholic who has ignored traditions and sought his material from original sources. He tells of Loyola’s youth, his conversion, his education in Spain and France, and his ascetic life in Venice and Rome. After the founding of the Society of Jesus, in 1539, the book deals largely with the history of that body, with closing chapters on the character and last days of Loyola.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Loyola, Ignacio de, Saint (1491-1556)

Martin Luther, the man and his work

Century 1911
McGiffert. Arthur CushmanGo to Book

DDC: Biography

“A convenient and trustworthy treatment of Luther for the general reader.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926
“A ‘plain and literal tale’ of Luther as a man and as an influence upon his times. In dealing objectively with his personality and his work the study becomes purely historical and offers no theological contentions to arouse religious animosity. . . All the light that modern research can throw on the great reformer has been employed.”
– Standard Catalog for Public Libraries : Biography Section (1927)

Luther, Martin (1483-1546)


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