The origins of modern autobiography are generally related to processes of introspection and individualization. Marijke Huisman argues there may also have been a connection between the rise of the genre and the commercialization of the book market. Assuming that their readers were interested in the lives of famous men and women, in the second half of the nineteenth century Dutch publishers presented an increasing amount of biographical and autobiographical narratives. However, few literary authors of standing published autobiographies. Those who did were either famous people in financial difficulty or marginal writers finding a way to capitalize on their name and fame in a commercial market.

Authorship, Autobiography, Celebrity, Netherlands, Nineteenth century,
Arts & Culture Studies

Huisman, M.H. (2007). The written portrait: Biographical and autobiographical publishing in the nineteenth century. Quaerendo, 37(3), 226–243. doi:10.1163/157006907X244519