Memory is ‘a slippery and unreliable thing’ and often lies at the centre of any controversy about how a life might be described. Yet memory is crucially important to biography and autobiography. In both the writer is recalling in complex fashion the habits, relationships and cultural setting of a life. When writing about one's own life, one will be calling on both the associative memory and the narrative memory. People’s lives and their memories of those lives often read like constructed narratives, stories that have been in some way crafted. That is not to say that they are artificial; it is just a reflection of the fact that stories are a common way in which we actively think about and preserve our pasts. Memory is notoriously susceptible to suggestion. Memory is notoriously full of lacunae, gaps in description and detail. Memory often seems paradoxical — to be both rich and impoverished at the same time.