How do leaders become legends, and how does a writer expose the person behind the public face? David Marr has explored the lives of controversial politicians, eminent journalists and literary luminaries. Julia Baird revisited the life of a monarch for Victoria: The Queen, Wilson imagined the life of naturalist George Forster, who travelled with Captain Cook, and Troy Bramston wrote a sweeping biography of Paul Keating. David Marr leads a spirited discussion about why there is no such thing as a definitive biography.

Julia Baird (Australian)

Julia Baird

Julia Baird is an award-winning journalist, historian, columnist and bestselling author. She has hosted The Drum on ABCTV since 2014. She has been a Joan Shorenstein Fellow at the Kennedy School at Harvard and senior editor of Newsweek in New York. Her biography of Queen Victoria was one of The New York Times’ top ten books of 2016. Her latest book, Phosphorescence: On Awe, Wonder and the Things That Sustain You When the World Goes Dark, will be published in the US, UK, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in May 2021.

David Marr (Australian)

David Marr

David Marr is a journalist and broadcaster who writes for The Guardian. He’s published a couple of biographies and a number of books about politics, censorship and immigration. Over the last 10 years he has written a number of Quarterly Essays. His latest is The White Queen: One Nation and the Politics of Race. He previously presented Media Watch and appears regularly on Insiders and The Drum. His most recent book is My Country, an anthology of essays.