Writing Historical Biography: Problems and Challenges


The event explores the problems and challenges of writing historical biography, ranging from questions of context and human agency, to issues of interpretation and presentation. As authors of two recent best-selling biographies of Empress Maria Theresa and the reformer Martin Luther, Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger and Lyndal Roper will discuss how they tackled these and other issues. Their two short papers will be followed by general discussion.

Lunch will be provided afterwards.


NB This event is additional to the Enlightenment event on Maria Theresa on 26 February which has already received support from OCEH. Prof Stollberg-Rilinger is Germany’s leading early modern historian and her presence at the Enlightenment event offers an ideal opportunity for further engagement with those specifically interested in the individual in history. The historical biography workshop has been specifically structured to offer maximum opportunity for discussion, and the lunch is to create an informal space for further interaction, especially for postgraduates.

This event is partially sponsored by the Oxford Centre for European History.