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Biography of oneself narrated by oneself. Little autobiographical literature exists from antiquity and the Middle Ages; with a handful of exceptions, the form begins to appear only in the 15th century. Autobiographical works take many forms, from intimate writings made during life that are not necessarily intended for publication (including letters, diaries, journals, memoirs, and reminiscences) to the formal autobiography. Outstanding examples of the genre extend from St. Augustine's Confessions (c. AD 400) to Vladimir Nabokov's Speak, Memory (1951).
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on autobiography, visit Britannica.com.