Wold Newton Resource Wiki

Fictional Biography is a genre wherein an author writes an account of a person's life where that person is actually a fictional character (or leastways, is generally thought to be). An example would be the satirical Augustus Carp, Esq., By Himself: Being the Autobiography of a Really Good Man, published anonymously in 1924 (later confirmed to have been written by Sir Henry Howarth Bashford). In Wold Newton circles, however, the general assumption is that the book will have been written about a pre-existing figure.

The genre is rather a wide one. At one end there will be books that are essentially critical studies of a character, or perhaps examples of "The Game", the scholarly-yet-creative research into the life and career of Sherlock Holmes. While such books are biographical, it would be difficult to actually describe them as fully-fledged biographies. At the other end of the scale can be found novels that have simply been presented in an unusual way, where the style of the biography largely gives way to narrative. Somewhere in the middle are straight biographies, where the authors have used the source texts as though they were historical documents, and in many of these cases the authors have taken the explicit position that they are writing about real people.

Wold Newton scholarship directly derives from two fictional biographies by Philip José Farmer, Tarzan Alive and Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life. There have, however, been many others, both before and after Farmer, at various points in the scale. The list below is based upon the information supplied on Win Scott Eckert's The Wold Newton Universe website, which listing he expanded in his book Crossovers. Further examples have been added directly to this article.


'Sir John Falstaff a Notorious Highwayman' in A Complete History of the Lives and Robberies of the Most Notorious Highwaymen by Alexander Smith (1719)

The pseudonymous Alexander Smith presents the lives and robberies of those notorious highwaymen for supposed 'moral' purpose, and in the expanded 1719 edition includes amongst them a villainous Robin Hood (and a Falstaff whose criminal career is shown to extent past the incident portrayed by William Shakespeare in Henry IV Part One.

'The Life of Sir John Falstaff in A General and True History of the Lives and Actions of the Most Famous Highwaymen, Murderers, Street-Robbers, etc. to which is added A Genuine Account of the Voyages and Plunders of the most noted Pirates by Captain Charles Johnson (1742)

An expansion of Captain Johnson's 1724 A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the most notorious Pyrates using material from Smith's volume on highwaymen. "Captain Johnson" is likewise believed to be an alias, and the theory that the true author of the original book was Daniel Defoe persists. To add verisimilitude, Falstaff is mentioned in other sections of the book as well; indeed, it is clearly from the reference to him in the introduction that his inclusion was a selling-point.

The Life of Sir John Falstaff by Robert Barnabas Brough (1858)

This volume is, to date, the earliest identified full-length fictional biography published (further evidence for the popularity of this figure from Shakespeare may be found in the volume of his letters published by James White in 1796, and A.M.F. Randolph's 1893 account of his trial before Justice Shallow).

"Biographical Note" by Paul Austin Delagardie, in Unnatural Death by Dorothy L. Sayers (1927)

A brief, and amusingly self-serving, biography of Lord Peter Wimsey, written by his uncle at the request of Dorothy L. Sayers.

Sleuths: 23 Great Detectives of Fiction & Their Best Stories ed. Kenneth MacGowan (1931)

Sleuths was a collection of short stories about fictional detectives by various hands, but with the gimmick that each piece came with a Who's Who-style mini-biography of each detective by either the author or editor.

  • C. Auguste Dupin (Unattributed)
  • Sherlock Holmes (Kenneth Macgowan; a longer version of this piece appeared later as the frontispiece to Ellery Queen's notorious anthology The Misadventures of Sherlock Holmes).
  • Martin Hewitt (Arthur Morrison)
  • Eugene Valmont (Kenneth Macgowan)
  • Professor Augustus S.F.X. Van Dusen (Kenneth Macgowan)
  • Craig Kennedy (Arthur B Reeve)
  • Dr. John Thorndyke (R. Austin Freeman)
  • Astrogon Kerby (Gelett Burgess)
  • Philip Trent (E.C. Bentley)
  • Max Carrodos (Ernest Bramah)
  • William Dawson (Kenneth Macgowan)
  • Reggie Fortune (H.C. Bailey)
  • Hercule Poirot and Capt. Arthur Hastings (both Kenneth Macgowan)
  • Jim Hanvey (Octavus Roy Cohen)
  • Supt. Henry Wilson (G.D.H. & M. Cole)
  • Lord Peter Wimsey (Dorothy L. Sayers)
  • Dr. Eustace Hailey (Kenneth Macgowan)
  • Mr. J.G. Reeder (Kenneth Macgowan)
  • Detective John Duff (Kenneth Macgowan)
  • Henry Poggiloli (T.S. Stribling)
  • Instead of biographies, for The Old Man in the Corner, Uncle Abner and Father Brown. there are unattributed apologia for the scarcity of information.

The Gay Adventurer aka The Life and Exploits of the Scarlet Pimpernel by John Blakeney (1935)

Published while the Baroness Orczy was still writing stories about Sir Percy Blakeney and his descendents, and not always consistent with them. It is generally assumed that “John Blakeney” was actually her son John Orczy Barstow. The book is available online here.

"A Probable Outline of Conan's Career" by P. Schuyler Miller and John D. Clark (1938), variously revised under other titles by L. Sprague de Camp (1952 onwards)

The original article is online here.

Yankee Lawyer: The Autobiography of Ephraim Tutt, ed. Arthur Train (1943)

A popular entry in Train's long-running series of stories, in which he passes the baton to Tutt himself in order to tell the story of his life (and, in doing so, point out where Train has misrepresented him in print in the past). Readers were left somewhat confused as to whether Tutt was a fictional character, or whether he had been real all along....

Four-&-Twenty Bloodhounds by Anthony Boucher (1950)

  • Verne Chute's Shadrack Arnold
  • Joseph Commings's Senator Brooks U. Banner
  • W.T Brannon's Jim Burgess
  • John Dickson Carr's Dr. Gideon Fell
  • Ken Crssen's Mortimer Death
  • Matthew Head's Dr. Mary Finney
  • Dr. Sam: Johnson, as chronicled by Lillian de la Torre
  • Harold Q. Masur's Scott Jordan
  • Frank Kane's Johnny Liddell
  • Jerome & Harold Prince's Inspector Magruder
  • James M. Fox's John and Suzy Marshall
  • Merlini, as chronicled by "Clayton Rawson" (pen-name for The Great Merlini and Ross Harte)
  • D.B. Olsen's Miss Rachel Murdock
  • The Mysterious Traveller, as chronicled by Robert Arthur
  • Anthony Boucher's Nick Noble
  • Lawrence G. Blochman's O'Reilly Sahib
  • Stewart Sterling's Ben Pedley
  • August Derleth's Solar Pons
  • Ellery Queen
  • Brett Halliday's Michael Shayne
  • Frederick Brown's Henry Smith
  • George Harmon Coxe's Dr. Paul Standish
  • Q. Patrick's Lt. Timothy Trant
  • Kelley Roos's Jeff and Haila Troy
  • Stuart Palmer's Hildegarde Withers

Explicitly-modelled on Sleuths, Boucher composed (allegedly drawing his information from question sheets completed by the detectives themselves) similar Who's Who-style entries for each work in his anthology of detective fiction - with three exceptions. Ellery Queen refused to supply any information, sending Boucher a facetious letter instead, which is reprinted complete with signature; The Mysterious Traveller is said to have supplied biographical information so disturbing that it could not be published, with Boucher announcing that he had had to send a copy to Miskatonic University instead (one wonders how many readers in 1950 recognised the joke here); Brett Halliday supplied no further information beyond his Michael Shayne story which recounts how the two men got to know each other.

Maigret’s Memoirs, ed. Georges Simenon (1950)

Much like Train before him, Maigret has a go at his chronicler and insists on writing the story of his life himself. Simenon later allowed Julian Symons to write an associated pastiche, “About Maigret and the Stolen Papers”, in his Great Detectives (see below).

Colonel Chinstrap, ed. Ted Kavanagh (1952)

The autobiography of Colonel Humphrey Chinstrap, the dipsomaniac army officer from I.T.M.A., the BBC radio series that got the British through World War Two.

Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street by William S. Baring-Gould (1962)

Arguably the culmination of all Sherlockian speculation - although by no means the last - Baring-Gould draws together much work by himself and other hands to tell the story of the Great Detective's family, career, and retirement. The book is notable for popularising the idea that Nero Wolfe was Sherlock Holmes's son. Elements from the Professor Challenger stories, and from three notable pastiches, are also included.

I, Flook: An autobiography with drawings by Trog, ed. George Melly and Wally Fawkes (1962)

"Flook" was a comic strip that ran in British newspapers from 1949 till at least the mid-1980s, drawn by Trog (Wally Fawkes) and written by a succession of well-known names. Originally for children, it quickly developed in surreal and satirical ways for an older audience. In his slim illustrated prose autobiography, Flook - some sort of magical prehistoric-creature-about-town - gives an account of his life as ostensible pet to a young boy whom he notices hasn't aged since the strip started...

Nero Wolfe of West Thirty-Fifth Street by William S. Baring-Gould (1969)

Whereas Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street was a straight biography of the late Sherlock Holmes, Nero Wolfe of West 35th Street is more a collection of essays about the still-living New York detective, each one dealing with a different aspect of Wolfe's career, life, and circle.

The Life and Times of Horatio Hornblower by C. Northcote Parkinson (1970)

Although books in a similar vein had been written before, the idea behind The Life and Times of Horatio Hornblower seems to have been a new one to its readers. Parkinson took the character of Horatio Hornblower, the protagonist of the historical novels by C.S. Forester, and wrote such a straight biography that some reviewers missed the point and thought Hornblower had actually existed. Rumours exist of a similar tome by one "C. Windgate".

An Informal Biography of Scrooge McDuck by Jack L. Chalker, with a Bibliography by Kim Weston (1971, 1974)

This essay was originally published in Markings magazine in 1971, then in an expanded standalone pamphlet in 1974. It is placed firmly in the tradition of the Sherlockian 'Game', noting that the book's 'form is an established literary genre in and of itself'. McDuck's life is taken from the comics by Carl Barks, who is elsewhere recorded as having said that he considered Disney's anthropomorphic animal cartoon characters as being, essentially, portraits of human beings in caricature.

Tarzan Alive by Philip José Farmer (1972)

See main article Tarzan Alive.

"The Obscure Life and Hard Times of Kilgore Trout" by Philip José Farmer (1973)

Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life by Philip José Farmer (1973)

See main article Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life.

James Bond: The Authorised Biography of 007 by John Pearson (1973)

John Pearson was a colleague of Ian Fleming and wrote his biography. James Bond: The Authorised Biography reveals that Pearson started to get peculiar correspondence once his Fleming book was out, which lead him to discover that James Bond is not fictional at all. It is interesting to note that before Fleming's literary estate took an interest, Pearson anticipated that the book would have to be a parody in order to reach print. It is interesting to note that Pearson's book was published around the same time as Farmer's, as the latter also includes - consistent - information about James Bond's ancestry.

America's Secret Service Ace by Nick Carr (1974)

About Operator #5.

"Edgar Rice Burroughs: A Brief Biographical Sketch" in A Guide to Barsoom by John Flint Roy (1976)

Wold Newton scholars have also considered the differences between the real-life Burroughs and the narrator of his books in their article Burroughing Beneath the Page.

I, Sherlock Holmes, ed. Michael Harrison (1977)

In essentials, this is a novelisation of Harrison's earlier work of Sherlockian speculation The World of Sherlock Holmes, with conclusions that he had reached found to be confirmed by the Great Detective's own memoir, preserved in the British Library.

The Wimsey Family by C.W. Scott-Giles (1977)

Penned by the Fitzalan Pursuivant of Arms Extraordinary, based on his longstanding correspondence with Dorothy L. Sayers about the ancestry of Lord Peter Wimsey.

John Steed: An Authorized Biography, Volume 1 - Jealous In Honour by Tim Heald (1977)

This was the first biography written by Tim Heald - with input from both Patrick Macnee (who features as a character, as does his father) and Brian Clemens. Only the first volume of the life of John Steed, central character of the television programme The Avengers, was ever produced, and only one edition was printed; nevertheless, Mr. Heald is probably nowadays known best as a biographer, although few of his other subjects can have had the same pre-existing acquaintance that he had with John Steed.

The book, which lacks any of the fantastic elements the television show is now best known for, is notable for its cameo appearance by James Bond and, somewhat bizarrely, a crossover with Evelyn Waugh's first novel, Decline and Fall. A rarity, it is described in hushed tones on various websites, such as here.

The Private Lives of Private Eyes, Spies, Crime Fighters, and Other Good Guys" by Otto Penzler (1977)

A large-format illustrated book, covering 'The lives and times of the world's 25 best-known fictional crime fighters'. Each section offers an overview of a character or characters, as well as a brief in-universe biography:

  • Lew Archer
  • Father Brown
  • Nick Carter
  • Charlie Chan
  • Nick and Nora Charles
  • Mike Hammer
  • Jules Maigret (excerpt available online here)
  • Miss Marple
  • Perry Mason
  • Ellery Queen
  • John Shaft
  • Dr. Thorndyke
  • Philo Vance

"Jonathan Swift Somers III: Cosmic Traveller in a Wheelchair" by Philip José Farmer (1977)

Available online here.

The Flying Spy: A History of G-8 by Nick Carr (1978)

The Great Detectives - A Host of the World's Most Celebrated Sleuths Are Unmasked by Their Authors, ed. Otto Penzer (1978)

This book consists of a series of essays about famous fictional detectives (or similar), written by their chroniclers. Predominantly the characters are treated as fictional, but some contributions are 'in-universe', with one or two somewhere in between!

  • Roderick Alleyn by Ngaio Marsh
  • John Appleby by Michael Innes
  • Lew Archer by Ross MacDonald
  • Father Bredder by Leonard Holton
  • Flash Casey by George Harmon Coxe
  • Pierre Chambrun by Hugh Pentecost
  • Inspector Cockrill by Christianna Brand
  • Captain Jose Da Silva by Robert L. Fish
  • Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene
  • The 87th Precinct by Ed McBain
  • Fred Fellows by Hillary Waugh
  • Inspector Ghote by H. R. F. Keating (something of a self-satire)
  • Matt Helm by Donald Hamilton
  • Duncan Maclain by Baynard H. Kendrick
  • Mark McPherson by Vera Caspary
  • Lieutenant Luid Mendoza by Dell Shannon
  • Mr and Mrs North by Richard Lockridge
  • Patrick Petrella by Michael Gilbert
  • Superintendent Pibble by Peter Dickinson
  • Quiller by Adam Hall
  • Inspector Schmidt by George Bagby
  • The Shadow by Maxwell Grant
  • Michael Shayne by Brett Halliday (this entry essentially a real-world version of Halliday's contribution to Four-and-Twenty Bloodhounds)
  • Virgil Tibbs by John Ball (some of this entry is quoted in the TV Tropes website's article on the "Literary Agent Hypothesis")
  • Dick Tracy by Chester Gould
  • Inspector Van der Valk by Nicolas Freeling

Biggles: The Authorized Biography by John Pearson (1978)

The conceit of this book is that Captain James Bigglesworth, the World War One flying ace whose adventures were described by W.E. Johns, lived near Pearson following his retirement. The book is not much liked by Biggles fans, as it takes considerable liberties with Johns's works.

Jeeves: A Gentleman's Personal Gentleman by C. Northcote Parkinson (1979)

In this book Parkinson assembles episodes from P.G. Wodehouse's Bertie Wooster stories into a continuous narrative, as well as adding incidents of his own. Not perhaps a successful imitation of Wodehouse's style, although the all-star cast audiobook adaptation in particular occasionally raises a smile. Notably, Lord Peter Wimsey, Bunter, Hercule Poirot and Father Brown all appear. Northcote Parkinson cites his inspiration as Geoffrey Jaggard's concordance-cum-book of quotations, Wooster's World (1967). He also cites a number of fictional sources, including a spurious biography of Lord Peter Wimsey, Whimsical Sleuth by Wallace Edgar.

The Great Detectives: Seven Original Investigations by Julian Symons, illustrated by Tom Adams (1981)

A coffee-table book of original critical, speculative and creative material, written with the permission of the daughters of Agatha Christie, Rex Stout and Raymond Chandler, and the co-operation of Georges Simenon and Frederic Dannay, comprising:

  • "How a Hermit was Disturbed in His Retirement" (short story in which a very young Miss Marple meets the elderly Sherlock Holmes, also anthologised elsewhere under the title "The Adventure of Hillerman Hall")
  • "About Miss Marple and St. Mary Mead" (a reminiscence written at Symons's request by the Reverend Leonard Clement, narrator of the first Miss Marple novel The Murder at the Vicarage
  • "In Which Archie Goodwin Remembers" (Symons interviews Archie Goodwin while visiting the United States, and learns the fate of Nero Wolfe)
  • "Which Expounds the Ellery Queen Mystery" (still in America, Symons researches the life of Ellery Queen, and finds evidence to support his theory that the detective was actually two different men, Ellery and Dan. Frederic Dannay's opinion is also sought)
  • "About Maigret and the Stolen Papers" (a short story crossing-over Maigret and Hercule Poirot)
  • "The Life of Hercule Poirot, based on the notes of Captain Arthur Hastings" (Symons meets the elderly Captain Hastings, and takes over his project to put together a full biography of the Belgian sleuth)
  • "About the Birth of Philip Marlowe" (Symons meets the man on whom Raymond Chandler based Philip Marlowe)

Star Trek II Biographies by William Rotsler (1982)

The author of tie-in fiction to the movies Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock was encouraged by his editor to take a closer look at the lives of the crew of the USS Enterprise. Although much of his book has since been contradicted, Rotsler is famously credited with coining Lt. Uhura's first name.

The Brownstone House of Nero Wolfe, as told by Archie Goodwin, ed. Ken Darby (1983)

A fictional biography of Nero Wolfe's house, also revealing much about both Wolfe and Archie's lives. Flatly contradicts both Symons's book and Robert Goldsborough's continuation novels regarding the fate of Wolfe and Archie.

The Private Life of Dr. Watson, ed. Michael Hardwick (1983)

This novel has the doctor recall his somewhat racy adventures in youth, before he encountered Holmes. The title is a riff on The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes - the novelisation of the film of that name had been written by Michael and Mollie Hardwick.

Suspects by David Thomson (1985)

Not, unfortunately, consistent with the Wold Newton Universe. The narrator of this novel writes biographies of different movie characters, expanding on what is known from the films, and gradually the articles begin to bleed into each other. The follow-up, Silverlight, took a more conventional style, and mainly covered figures from the Wild West, both historical and fictional.

Sherlock Holmes: My Life and Crimes', ed. Michael Hardwick (1986)

Although the book opens as an autobiography, discussing - for example - Sherlock Holmes's early work with the Pinkertons, it rapidly turns into a novel as Holmes reveals to the reader the true events of the Great Hiatus.

The Life and Times of Miss Jane Marple by Anne Hart (1989)

The Life and Times of Hercule Poirot by Anne Hart (1990)

Essentially an analysis of the stories and characters as fiction.

Arthur Daley Straight Up: The Autobiography, ed. Paul Ableman and Leon Griffiths (1991)

This book begins as a narrative of the youth of Arthur Daley, the car dealer from Minder, but ultimately turns into a selection of his adventures, probably derived from television episodes. Interestingly, the cover bears a recommendation from Derek Trotter (q.v.). Other television shows have produced books in a similar vein to Straight Up - finding a way of adapting what is on the screen into a book without just producing flat novelisations or script books - but this is perhaps the closest to actual autobiography.

Leopold Bloom: A Biography aka The Life of Leopold Bloom: A Novel by Peter Costello (1992)

A straight biographical study of the protagonist of James Joyce's Ulysses.

The Reminisences of the Hon. Galahad Threepwood, ed. N.T.P. Murphy (1993)

Ostensibly a later edition of the book consumed by the pig Empress of Blandings in Wodehouse's Heavy Weather, and finally revealing the truth about Parslowe and the prawns, and what happened to Lord Ickenham and Pongo at the dog races, this book is actually about the real-life characters who haunted the Pelican Club at the end of the nineteenth century.

The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck by Don Rosa (1994, 1997)

Rosa carefully constructed stories for the Uncle Scrooge comic based on references to Scrooge McDuck's early life as revealed in the early Carl Barks comics, much as other fictional biographers drew non-fiction styled histories from their original sources.

Holmes and Watson by June Thomson (1995)

The Eyes Of The Fleet: A Popular History Of Frigates And Frigate Captains, 1793-1815 by Anthony Price (1996)

A study of a selection of naval heroes of the Napoleonic Wars - men such as Pigot, Cochrane, Hoste, Pellew, and... um... Hornblower.

Radio's Captain Midnight: The Wartime Biography by Stephen Kallis (1999)

Basil Brush: My Story, ed. Andrew Crofts (2001)

Even puppets have turned to the written word to tell their life-story.

The World of Austin Powers by Andy Lane (2002)

Life Beyond the Box (2003)

A pair of BBC television programmes, rather than books:

  • "Norman Stanley Fletcher" told the life story of the central character of the prison sitcom Porridge, revealing details of his early life, and the fates of the main recurring characters of the series. It starred the surviving members of the original cast.
  • "Margo", conversely, featured none of the surviving cast of the sitcom The Good Life, and was a deconstruction of the snobbish Margo Leadbetter, revealing the skeletons in her cupboard.

'Fawlty Towers': A Worshipper's Guide by Lars Holger Holm (2004)

This is the book that, notoriously, presents the script of the alleged thirteenth episode of John Cleese and Connie Booth's sitcom, supposedly filmed but never broadcast. Amongst the other material in the book are potted biographies of each of the residents of the Torquay hotel.

Nancy Drew, Confessions of a Teen Sleuth: A Parody, ed. Chelsea Cain (2005)

Les Nombreuses vies d’Arsène Lupin by André-François Ruaud (2005)

Volume 1 of a series of fictional biographies published by the French imprint la bibliothèque rouge. Many volumes address not only the title character but other characters on a similar nature, and feature French translations of pastiches familiar to a Wold Newton audience.

Les Nombreuses vies de Sherlock Holmes by André-François Ruaud & Xavier Mauméjean (2005)

La bibliothèque rouge, Volume 2.

Les Nombreuses vies d’Hercule Poirot by André-François Ruaud & Xavier Mauméjean (2006)

La bibliothèque rouge, Volume 3.

Les Nombreuses vies de Fantômas by Étienne Barillier (2006)

La bibliothèque rouge, Volume 4.

'Indiana Jones: Biografía' by Marcus Brody, ed. Pau Gómez (2006)

Originally written in 1948 by a close friend and colleague of Dr. Henry Walton "Indiana" Jones, Jr., together with a 1993 postscript by Jones himself, this book has only even been published in Spain, in Spanish, without the authorisation of Lucasarts.

Les Nombreuses vies de James Bond by Laurent Queyssi (2007)

La bibliothèque rouge, Volume 5.

I am the Doctor: The Unauthorised Diaries of a Timelord, ed. John Peel (2007)

Ostensibly interviews with ten incarnations of the Doctor - and one of his companions - this book is just lists the barest details of the plots of all broadcast television stories. And for some reason, each Doctor is able to describe the circumstances of his regeneration into his subsequent body...

Les Nombreuses vies de Maigret by Jacques Baudou (2007)

La bibliothèque rouge, Volume 6.

Les Nombreuses vies de Dracula by André-François Ruaud & Isabelle Ballester (2008)

La bibliothèque rouge, Volume 7.

Les Nombreuses vies de Frankenstein by André-François Ruaud (2008)

La bibliothèque rouge, Volume 8.

Les Nombreuses vies de Malaussène by Nicolas Lozzi (2008)

La bibliothèque rouge, Volume 9.

Les Nombreuses vies de Conan by Simon Sanahujas (2008)

La bibliothèque rouge, Volume 10.

Les Nombreuses vies de Nero Wolfe, un privé à New York by André-François Ruaud (2008)

La bibliothèque rouge, Volume 11.

Les Nombreuses morts de Jack l’Éventreur by André-François Ruaud & Julien Bétan (2008)

La bibliothèque rouge, Volume 12; regarding Jack the Ripper, the notorious murderer often used in fiction pitched against figures such as Sherlock Holmes.

Eclectic Gypsy: An Unauthorised Biography of Doctor Who by Dave Thompson (2008)

A spoof of the whole idea of a fictional biography, citing interviews with dead Time Lords and articles from unlikely interstellar publications (and occasionally mocking one or two specific fans).

Roy of the Rovers: The Unauthorised Biography by Mick Collins (2008)

Somewhat like John Pearson, Mick Collins began by writing a biography of a real person, with "his bestselling All-Round Genius about a real life sports man who resembled a comic strip hero[; in Roy of the Rovers], Mick Collins turns his attention to a comic strip hero that many thought was a real-life striker".

Le Dico des héros dirigé by André-François Ruaud (2009)

La bibliothèque rouge, Volume 13, being a dictionary of heroes - "A comme Adamsberg, B comme Belphégor, C comme Chéri-Bibi, D comme Dickson, E comme Emmanuelle, F comme Fu Manchu, G comme Green Hornet, H comme Holmes et ainsi de suite."

Les Nombreuses vies de Miss Marple by Jacques Baudou (2009)

La bibliothèque rouge, Volume 14.

Les Nombreuses vies de Cthulhu by Patrick Marcel (2009)

La bibliothèque rouge, Volume 15; addressing the workings of a universe where loom the Ctuhlhu Cult Deities.

Les Nombreux mondes de Jane Austen by Isabelle Ballester (2009)

La bibliothèque rouge, Volume 16; addressing the lives of Elizabeth Bennet and other figures from Austen's works.

Les Nombreuses vies de Harry Potter by André-François Ruaud (2009)

La bibliothèque rouge, Volume 17.

The Lineup: The World's Greatest Crime Writers Tell the Inside Story of Their Greatest Detectives, ed. Otto Penzler (2009)

For Otto Penzler's latest anthology of fictional biographies, some contributors chose to write about how they developed their characters, and others opted to continue the polite fiction that they are chronicling the lives of real people:

  • Jack Taylor by Ken Brown
  • Jack Reacher by Lee Child
  • Harry Bosch by Michael Connelly
  • Charlie Parker by John Connolly
  • Elvis Cole and Joe Pike by Robert Crais
  • Lincoln Rhyme by Jeffrey Deaver
  • Inspector Morse by Colin Dexter
  • Charlie Resnick by John Harvey
  • Bob Lee Swagger by Stephen Hunter
  • Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus by Faye Kellerman
  • Alex Delaware by Jonathan Kellerman
  • Dismas Hardy by John Lescroart
  • Tess Monaghan by Laura Lippman
  • Rambo by David Morrell
  • Mallory by Carol O'Connell
  • Spenser by Robert B. Parker
  • Lou Boldt by Ridley Pearson
  • Charlotte and Thomas Pitt by Anne Perry
  • Aloysius X. L. Pendergast by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
  • John Rebus by Ian Rankin
  • Precious Ramotswe by Alexander McCall Smith

Detective Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte: His Life and Times by Michael Duke (2010)

A biography of Arthur Upfield's Bony, with particular reference to his Aboriginal background. The author concedes that Bony is a fictional character but that he intends to pretend he's real. The publishers have made an excerpt available online here (which, interestingly, compares Bony's relationship to Upfield with John Steed and his biographer Tim Heald....).

Les Nombreuses vies de Nestor Burma by Jacques Baudou (2010)

La bibliothèque rouge, Volume 18.

Les Nombreuses vies du polar provençal by Nicolas Lozzi (2011)

La bibliothèque rouge, Volume 19; discussing the detectives of Provençe.

A Simples Life: My Life and Times (2010)

The Russian-accented meerkat Aleksandr Orlov takes a break from advertising a price-comparison website to tell his story.

Sherlock Holmes, une vie by André-François Ruaud & Xavier Mauméjean (2011)

La bibliothèque rouge, Volume 20.

Arsène Lupin, une vie by André-François Ruaud (2011)

La bibliothèque rouge, Volume 21.

Hercule Poirot, une vie by André-François Ruaud & Xavier Mauméjean (2012)

La bibliothèque rouge, Volume 22. Further volumes are in preparation; Tarzan, notably, is to be one of the figures covered.

I, Partridge: We Need to talk about Alan by Alan Partridge, with Rob Gibbons, Neil Gibbons, Armando Iannucci and Steve Coogan (2011)

Alan's follow-up to his earlier, pulped, Bouncing Back, covering his complete career without resorting to simply novelising episodes of his radio, television or Youtube series.

The Doctor - His Lives and Times, ed. James Goss & Steve Tribe (2013)

A licenced work in a similar vein to Eclectic Gypsy, interspersed with real-world commentary on the television show Doctor Who including contributions from writers, cast and crew from across its fifty-year history.

Let Me Off at the Top: My Classy Life & Other Musings by Ron Burgundy (2013)

Older, more American, classier and much more successful than Norfolk's greatest son (one cannot but wonder whether this book was directly inspired by I, Partridge), "Ron Burgundy have asserted their right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work."

Through It All I've Always Laughed - Memoirs of Count Arthur Strong, ed. Steve Delaney (2013)

Facsimile of a hand-corrected typescript by the legend of showbusiness himself.

My Prefect Cousin: A Short Biography of Paul Hamilton by Kevin Eldon (2014)

Kevin Eldon tells the story of the performance poet (whom he, Kevin, in turn, performs in stand-up) Paul Hamilton.

Roy of the Rovers: The Official Autobiography of Roy of the Rovers by Roy Race (2014)

England's best-loved footballer tells the story of his life.... well, somebody does. The original hardback edition published by Century credits accustomed ghostwriter of biographies Eddie Grant with putting the text together, but the 2015 paperback by Arrow is credited to 'Roy Race with Giles Smith'.

The Autobiography of James T. Kirk: The Story of Starfleet's Greatest Captain ed. David A Goodman (2015)

The life story of James Tiberius Kirk, as written by the man himself shortly before his tragic death aboard the USS Enterprise-B. The volume includes a Foreword by Dr. Leonard H. McCoy, and an Afterword by Spock of Vulcan.

Toast on Toast: Cautionary tales and candid advice, ed. Matt Berry & Arthur Matthews (2015)

Another acting memoir, this one by Steven Toast (perhaps best known for his voiceover work).

The Autobiography of Jean-Luc Picard: the Story of One of Starfleet's Most Inspirational Captains ed. David A. Goodman (2017)

The Autobiography of Mr Spock: the Life of a Federation Legend ed. David A. Goodman (2018)

Crikey! How Did That Happen? The Life and Times of Sir Bertram Wooster by Sri Romesh Yogananda / Crikey! How Did That Happen?: The Refreshingly Unauthorised Biography of Sir Bertram Wooster KG by Ian Strathcarron (2018)

One book, two releases; firstly for free electronically under the name of Sri Romesh Yogananda, and then several months later under a modified title and credited to the pen name of the publisher Ian David Patrick Macpherson, 3rd Baron Strathcarron, electronically for a modest charge and in paperback.