In the 19th Century the idea of fame and celebrity began to develop, and the new ‘stars’ soon wrote autobiographies. Writers, politicians, philosophers and cardinals all wrote their memoires and even the circus founder P. T. Barnum cashed in. These books differed from earlier memoires as they contained accounts of the stars' childhoods rather than dealing only with their public achievements. The autobiography that we are familiar with today was beginning to take form.
Maybe everyone has an inbuilt yearning to write or maybe the famous simply cannot resist the financial incentives offered to autobiographers! Some of them are talented writers, whilst some would have done better to leave the writing to others! Whatever your views about celebrities memoires, you will find that Mark Twain, Liz Smith, Terry-Thomas, Adolf Hitler and Katie Price have each filled a book with information about themselves. Why not have a go at this quiz and test yourself on the subject of autobiographies?