The article concentrates on footballers' biographies and makes comparisons with the cricketers' (auto)/biographies we saw after England's success in the Ashes. It highlights the fact that one major difference is that England's World Cup performance did not result in overall success, whereas the cricket team did get the Ashes. I'd add the following:
- From what I understand, (as I'm not a cricket fan), England's success in the Ashes was inspirational. That captures the imagination. Martin Johnson's and Jonny Wilkinson's Wolrd Cup rugby successes in the England team are also particular cases in point.
- Those cricketers were unknown quantities to an extent - they certainly had not bled dry the media's paper pages for self publicity - thus they had something to say and something to give; the public was intrigued and wanted to know more. (The public had no idea of what pants/knickers these guys preferred when they won!) It's always best to hold something back...
- As unknown quantities the cricketers also carried less "scandal" - thus the win was based on skill, talent, determination and perseverance, with nothing else to cloud it; thus people wanted to know how they got there.
The exception to the current disappointing sales in celeb biogs (particularly these sporting ones) is Steven Gerrard's autobiography. Article write Andrew Holgate thinks this is because Gerrard focuses on something the other footballers' biogs don't - loyalty - he's a Liverpool man through and through, apparently. (Again, I'm not a footie fan.)
I have a copy of Mary Wesley's biography, "Wild Mary" by Patrick Marnham, in my TBR pile. The woman was inspirational as she was not published until in her 70s, after which she published a novel a year until some short time before she died. Her novels attracted readers for their candour and explicit storytelling, based in the period of contemporary history and based on her own experiences of life - so it was said.
With such an author history, it's obvious that various stories would trickle out and trickle out they did. But it was just a trickle and the integrity of those media stories cannot be guaranteed to 100%. Thus, an approved biography with access to Wesley's friends and family promises to be excellent. I think I will learn much more about Wesley when I read this book. That's why I plan to read it.
So here's the trick - always hold something back. The more the better.