In the eighteenth century, readers began encountering a variety of factual and fictional “lives” in print. With new genres such as the novel, the biography, the secret history, the roman à clef, the criminal memoir, and the letter collection, the period saw a growing interest in documenting and describing individual, everyday life. How did Enlightenment epistemology and a globalizing society interact with first-person narratives and understandings of the self? What can these texts tell us about what “real” life was like? This course will investigate the new ways of exploring real or realistic lives in both fact and fiction, asking how representations of individual subjectivity changed over the course of the eighteenth century.