Suggested by Simon Thomas:
Have you ever been put off an author’s books after reading a biography of them? Or the reverse - a biography has made you love an author more?
I can think of writers and other artists whose work I don't enjoy. I can think of biographies that I found unreadable, usually they are what I call the toe-nail-clippings-and-all biographies. You know "and then Hemmingway ate his breakfast on February 3rd, it was Thursday, in a small cafe, spending 1 franc. His daughter found the receipt in his shoe. He then got his shoes polished before visiting Gertrude and Alice." But I cannot think of a situation where reading about someone's life has made me not enjoy their work. I've learned some pretty nasty things about Wagner, but I still like hearing and seeing his operas. Picasso was cruel to some of his women, but his work I can admire again and again. I have had the case, with Virginia Woolf, where, in researching a play I directed about her life, I read everything about her and I continue to (although I've yet to read the latest book about her relationship with her servants). All the diaries, the letters, most of the essays, Leonard Woolf's memoirs, the two-volume biography by Quentin Bell - her nephew - Hermione Lee's biography, all sorts of more general Bloomsburiana, like the Victoria Glendenning biography of Vita Sackville West. The intimate details of their worst qualities has yet to put me off her fiction or any of the work of that fascinating circle of artists.