Biographies & Memoirs W, X, Y, Z – Names Begin with W, X, Y, Z

Free online biographies and memoirs for people whose names begin with W, X, Y, Z. This is one of a dozen web pages containing hundreds of individual and group biographies.

Biography W, X, Y & Z

My First Years as a Frenchwoman

Scribner 1914 Dewey Dec. Biography
Waddington, Mary King

“Consists of entertaining reminiscences of diplomatic and social life in Paris during the early years of the third republic.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Waddington, Mary Alsop King (1833-1923)

Letters of a Diplomat’s Wife, 1883-1900

Waddington, Mary King
Scribner 1903 Dewey Dec. Biography

“The American born wife of a French ambassador at Moscow and London gives striking impressions of historic personages and scenes in informal family letters.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Waddington, Mary Alsop King (1833-1923)

Richard Wagner; his Life and his Dramas. A Biographical Study of the Man and an Explanation of his Work.

Henderson, William James
Putnam 1902 Dewey Dec. Biography

“This work contains an analytical account of the musical dramas, with their themes and sources of plots.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926
“The purpose of this book is to supply Wagner lovers with a single work which shall meet all their needs. The author has told the story of Wagner’s life, explained his artistic aims, given the history of each of his great works. “
– Preface

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;
Hervey, Arthur, Liszt and his Music in Century Past Biographies: I, J, K & L;
Duncan, Edmondstoune, Schubert in Century Past Biographies: S;
Dole, Nathan Haskell, Famous Composers in Century Past Collective Biographies – Authors A–F

Wagner, Richard (1813-1883)

Her Dream of Dreams: The Rise and Triumph of Madam C. J. Walker

Lowry, Beverly
Vintage 2004

“Madam J. Walker is an American rags-to-riches icon. Born to former slaves in Louisiana in 1867, she went on to become a prominent African American businesswoman and the first female self-made millionaire in U.S. history. The story of her transformation from a laundress to a tremendously successful entrepreneur is both inspirational and mysterious, as many of the details of her early life remain obscure. In this superior biography. Beverly Lowry’s abundant research fleshes out Walker’s thinly documented story and frames it in the roiling race relations of her day.” – Book cover

Walker, Madam C. J. (Sarah) (1867-1919)

Lew Wallace: Militant Romantic

Morsberger, Robert E. and Morsberger, Katharine M.
McGraw-Hill 1980

Lew Wallace was the son of a governor of Indiana, David Wallace, who had been a graduate of West Point Military Academy and had established a law practice. Lew began studying law in his father’s firm in his late teens, then volunteered for military service during the war with Mexico. After the war he practiced law, entered politics, and continued his involvement in military affairs as a militia commander. When the Civil War began in 1861 he was appointed a Brigadier General in the Union Army. In 1878 he was appointed by the President the Territorial Governor of New Mexico, and afterward as the Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire. In addition, Wallace was also a writer. His novel ‘Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ’ was a best-seller for many years, and made him a wealthy man.

Wallace, Lewis (1827-1905)

Writer’s Recollections, Vol 1

Volume 2

Ward, Mary Augusta
Harper 1918 Dewey Dec. Biography

“An interesting individual life, and an unfolding of much of the sober intellectual life, and the movements of political and religious thought and society in England in the later nineteenth century.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Ward, Mary Augusta (1851-1920)

Hollywood Be Thy Name: The Warner Brothers Story

Sperling, Cass Warner and Millner, Cork
Prima 1994

“The definitive family biography and intimate portrait of the four legendary Warner brothers. It unfolds and is told through the eyes of Harry Warner’s granddaughter, Cass Warner Sperling and in the voices of others who knew them.” – Publisher

Warner, Jack Leonard (1892-1978)

Warwick, the Kingmaker (English Men of Action)

Oman, Sir Charles William Chadwick
Macmillan 1916 Dewey Dec. Biography

“A vigorous and coherent study of the man and the forces that shaped England in the fifteenth century.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Warwick. Richard Neville, Earl of (1428-1471)

Up from Slavery, an Autobiography

Washington, Booker Taliaferro
Doubleday 1915 Dewey Dec. Biography

“The inspiring story of a colored boy’s gradual rise, by hard work and ambition, from an unconsidered child in a dingy cabin to the recognized leader and benefactor of his race.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Washington, Booker Taliaferro (1859-1915)

George Washington (American Statesmen), Vol 1

Volume 2

Lodge, Henry Cabot
Houghton 1891 Dewey Dec. Biography

“Seeks to present Washington as he really was a man capable of winning the respect of all and the affection of many, rather than the prudish, cold, and bloodless man of the cherry-tree tradition. Written from abundant knowledge, it embodies excellent judgment and temper, and a strong desire to be accurate.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Washington, George, U.S. President (1732-1799)

The Writings of George Washington (12 volumes)

being his correspondence, addresses, messages, and other papers, official and private, selected and published from the original manuscripts; with a life of the author, notes and illustrations

Sparks, Jared, ed.
Little, Brown 1855 Dewey Dec. Biography

This is a later edition of a collection originally published in 1837. Contents are:

Vol. 1: Life of Washington [a biography by Jared Sparks]

Part First: Official Letters Relating to the French War, and Private Letters Before the American Revolution
Vol. 2: Correspondence from March 1754 to May 1775, with 14 appendices

Part Second: Correspondence and Miscellaneous Papers Relating to the American Revolution
Vol. 3: Correspondence from June 1775 to July 1776, with 15 appendices
Vol. 4: Correspondence from July 1776 to July 1777, with 15 appendices
Vol. 5: Correspondence from July 1777 to July 1778, with 18 appendices
Vol. 6: Correspondence from July 1778 to March 1780, with 8 appendices
Vol. 7: Correspondence from March 1780 to April 1781, with 10 appendices
Vol. 8: Correspondence from April 1781 to December 1783, with 15 appendices

Part Third: Private Letters from the Time Washington Resigned his Commission as Commander-in-Chief of the Army to that of his Inauguration as President of the United States
Vol. 9: Correspondence from December 1783 to April 1789, with 7 appendices

Part Fourth: Letters Official and Private, from the Beginning of his Presidency to the End of his Life
Vol. 10: Correspondence from May 1789 to November 1794, with 23 appendices
Vol. 11: Correspondence from November 1794 to December 1799, with 21 appendices

Part Fifth: Speeches and Messages to Congress, Proclamations, and Addresses
Vol. 12: Speeches to Congress, Messages to Congress, Proclamations, Addresses, 13 appendices, 7 indexes

Washington, George, U.S. President (1732-1799)

Martha Washington: An American Life

Brady, Patricia
Viking 2005 Dewey Dec. 000

Washington, Martha Dandridge (1731-1802)

Seven Years Among the Freedmen

Waterbury, Maria
Chicago: Arnold 1891 Dewey Dec. Biography

After the Civil War, Missionaries head south from Illinois to teach and minister to the Freedmen.

Waterbury, Maria (? – ?)

“Our Sentry Go”

Watson, Jeannette Grace
Seymour 1924 Dewey Dec. Biography

Memoir of World War I by the wife of the Rector of the American Church in Paris. The couple worked throughout the war with the American Ambulance Field Service, the Red Cross, and other relief efforts in Europe.

Watson, Jeannette Grace (1885-1929)

Daniel Webster (American Statesmen)

Lodge, Henry Cabot
Houghton 1917 Dewey Dec. Biography

“An appreciative study by a well-informed scholar which points out Webster’s faults as well as his merits.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Webster, Daniel (1782-1852)

Wellington (English men of Action)

Hooper, George
Macmillan 1890 Dewey Dec. Biography

Casts aside the non-essential and seizes on the salient points of his character and career.
— A.L.A. Catalog 1904

Wellesley, Arthur, 1st Duke of Wellington (1769-1852)

Crusade for Justice: The Autobiography of Ida B. Wells

Wells, Ida B.
University of Chicago 1972 Dewey Dec. 973.91

Wells-Barnett, Ida Bell (1862-1931)

Life of John Wesley

Winchester, Caleb Thomas
Macmillan 1906 Dewey Dec. Biography

“An interesting, popular presentation of the personal side of Wesley’s career, against a background of eighteenth century conditions.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Wesley, John (1703-1791)

A Life of George Westinghouse

Prout, Henry Goslee
Scribner 1922 Dewey Dec. Biography

“The story of Mr. Westinghouse’s engineering achievements and, in separate chapters, the personal side of his life.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Westinghouse, George (1846-1914)

Walt Whitman: His Life and Work (American Men of Letters)

Perry, Bliss
Houghton 1906 Dewey Dec. Biography

“A careful biographical and critical study, the most desirable for the single purchase for the public library. Altogether the volume will probably take its place as the sane and authoritative life of Whitman for many years to come.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Whitman, Walt (1819-1892)

Frances Willard: Her Life and Work

Strachey, Ray
London: Unwin 1912

Frances Elizabeth Caroline Willard was an American educator, temperance reformer, and women’s suffragist. Willard became the national president of Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) in 1879, and remained president until her death in 1898. Her influence continued in the next decades, as the Eighteenth (Prohibition) and Nineteenth (Women Suffrage) Amendments to the United States Constitution were adopted.

Willard, Frances Elizabeth Caroline (1839-1898)

William the Conqueror and the Rule of the Normans. (Heroes of the nations)

Stenton, Frank Merry
Putnam 1908 Dewey Dec. Biography

“An impartial, scholarly biography, containing three chapters which sketch the changes in constitutional organization and social life following the events of 1066.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

William, the Conqueror, King of England (1028-1087)

Roger Williams; A study of the Life, Times and Character of a Political Pioneer

Carpenter, Edmund J.
Baker & Taylor 1909 Dewey Dec. Biography

“A semi-popular study of the life, times, and character of the founder of Rhode Island, from a personal and political rather than from a religious point of view. Based on source material.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Williams, Roger (1603-1683)

Woodrow Wilson, the Man, His Times and His Task

White, William Allen
Houghton 1924 Dewey Dec. Biography

“The editor of the Emporia Gazette tries to show the real Woodrow Wilson whom he knew and loved and found imperfect. Though it adds little that is historically new, it achieves balance and a fine dignity.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

For background histories, see also on this site: History of the U.S. in the 20th Century

Wilson, Woodrow, U.S. President (1856-1924)

The Intimate Papers of Colonel House arranged as a Narrative, Vol 1

Volume 2

Seymour, Charles, ed.
Houghton 1926 Dewey Dec. Biography

Colonel House was a close aide to President Woodrow Wilson, and these papers are about his years in the White House.
“This absorbing work ranks with those of Grey and Ludendorf as a war record indispensable to the future historian. It is perhaps more valuable than the others since it embraces a wider field.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

House, Edward Mandell (1858-1938)

Wilson, Woodrow, U. S. President (1856-1924)

Diary

Winslow, Anna Green, ed. by Alice Morse Earle
Houghton 1894 Dewey Dec. Biography
DDC: Bio Y Dewey Dec. Biography

Journal of a little Boston school girl, supplemented by editor’s notes. Entertaining picture of domestic life in Boston a century ago.
— A.L.A. Catalog 1904
The diary is a series of letters from Anna to her mother, written between 1771-1773. Editor Alice Earle added extensive background notes about the political atmosphere in Boston at that time.

Winslow, Anna Green (1759-1780)

Life and Letters of John Winthrop, Governor of the Massachusetts-Bay Company at their Emigration to New England, Vol 1

Volume 2

Winthrop, Robert Charles
Little 1864-67 Dewey Dec. Biography

“The first volume is one of the choicest examples of Puritan biography, containing extracts from Winthrop’s early diaries and correspondence and material of greatest importance about the settlement of Massachusetts. The second volume closely follows Winthrop’s Journal but includes important state papers. A chief authority.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Winthrop, John (1588-1649)

Sally Wister’s Journal, a True Narrative; Being a Quaker Maiden’s Account of her Experiences with Officers of the Continental Army, 1777-1778

Wister, Sarah
Ferris 1902 Dewey Dec. Biography

Of some value as a historical document, but more interesting as a picture of genuine girlhood.
— A.L.A. Catalog 1904

Wister, Sarah (1761-1864)

Cardinal Wolsey (Twelve English Statesmen)

Creighton, Mandell
Macmillan 1921 Dewey Dec. Biography

“An interesting record of the life and work of Henry the Eighth’s too devoted servant, one of the greatest of English diplomats.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Wolsey, Thomas, Cardinal (1473-1530)

Virginia Woolf: An Inner Life

Briggs, Julia
Harcourt 2005 Dewey Dec. 000

Woolf, Virginia (1882-1941)

The Life and Works of Frank Lloyd Wright

Heinz, Thomas A.
Barnes & Noble 2002

“Frank Lloyd Wright is justly regarded as one of the most important and prolific architects there has ever been, and the defining genius of American architecture…. Wright had an innate understanding of materials and their possibilities. He was fearless when it came to experimenting with modern technology and produced some of the most remarkable buildings of his time.” – Book jacket
The author was an architect. In addition to information about Wright’s life, this volume contains numerous color photos of Wright’s buildings, with commentary.

Wright, Frank Lloyd (1867-1959)

The Wright Brothers

A Biography Authorized by Orville Wright

Kelly, Fred C.
NY: Harcourt Brace 1943 Dewey Dec. Biography

Wright, Wilbur (1867-1912) Wright, Orville (1871-1948)

John Wycliffe; Last of the Schoolmen and First of the English Reformers (Heroes of the Nations)

Sergeant, Lewis
Putnam 1893 Dewey Dec. Biography

“A picture of John Wycliffe as an Oxford schoolman, and of the schoolmen in general as pioneers of the reformation and the revival of learning.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Wycliffe, John (1320-1384)

Malcolm X: In Our Own Image

Wood, Joe
Anchor 1994 Dewey Dec. 973.91

X, Malcolm (1925-1965)

The Autobiography of Malcolm X

X, Malcolm and Haley, Alex
Ballantine 1973 Dewey Dec. 973.91

1. Nightmare — 2. Mascot — 3. “Homeboy” — 4. Laura — 5. Harlemite — 6. Detroit Red — 7. Hustler — 8. Trapped — 9. Caught — 10. Satan — 11. Saved — 12. Savior — 13. Minister Malcolm X — 14. Black Muslims — 15. Icarus — 16. Out — 17. Mecca — 18. El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz — 19. 1965 — Epilogue / Alex Haley — On Malcom X / Ossie Davis

X, Malcolm (1925-1965)

Reveries over Childhood and Youth

Yeats, William Butler
Macmillan 1916 Dewey Dec. Biography

“A spiritual and emotional autobiography of the well-known poet’s early years, part of which he spent with his grandfather in Ireland, and part with his father, a painter.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Yeats, William Butler (1865-1939)

A Soldier’s Memories in Peace and War

Younghusband, Sir George John
Dutton 1917 Dewey Dec. Biography

“A British officer in India, Egypt, the Boer war, and the Spanish-American war, the author tells his experiences with humor, precision, and occasionally with emotion.”
— A.L.A. Catalog 1926

Younghusband, Sir George John (1859-1944)

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