It is surely a not uncommon, if often unrealistic, wish among literary scholars to come face to face with the author of the texts they meticulously scrutinize and to confront the real person behind the persona. Yet whether alive or dead, the writer in question always remains elusive, leaving behind a trail of public records of their personal and professional life that provide a necessarily distorted image of reality. Despite this, whatever reaches the scholar is likely to be woven into any critical discourse, with the biographical details and elements of social background incorporated into particular readings. In the post-New Critical era, biography obviously no longer carries as much significance as in the early days of modern criticism, but the possession of factual information about another human being is unlikely ever to lose its appeal.