Hesperus to release Brief Lives series

<p>Classics specialist Hesperus Press is launching Brief Lives, a series of mini-biographies of literary greats.</p><p>Each title introduces the early life, writing career and literary legacy of an author. The slim volumes, all under 115 pages, aim to give a &quot;snapshot that is ideal for both the academic and the general reader alike&quot;.</p><p>Six titles are scheduled for spring 2008, with another five to follow in the autumn. Hesperus plans on publishing about 12 titles in 2009. Derrick Holman, Hesperus m.d., said the series is a &quot;conscious move away from the exclusively academic, dauntingly long or often outmoded biographies.&quot;&nbsp; He added: &quot;We felt that there was a gap in the literary biography market, in that those readers looking for concise, up-to-date material were not being adequately served.&quot;</p><p>The list launches with some of the publisher&#39;s most popular authors: <em>Oscar Wilde </em>by Richard Canning, a University of Sheffield lecturer who has written widely on gay literature; <em>Anton Chekhov</em> by theatre translator Patrick Miles; and <em>Charles Dickens</em> by Dickens scholars Melissa Valiska and Melisa Klimaszewski (all p/b, 25th January, &pound;6.99). Rounding out the spring list are University of Oxford English tutor Fiona Stafford&#39;s <em>Jane Austen</em> (March), former King&#39;s College, Wimbledon lecturer Gavin Griffiths&#39; <em>Joseph Conrad </em>(April) and translator and professor David Carter&#39;s <em>Honor&eacute; de Balzac</em> (June).<br /><br /></p>