Following the project 'John Amos Comenius as a site of memory' the study analyzes several aspects of (auto) biographical writing in its big boom which started in the late 18th and then continued throughout the 19th century. From the positions of the post-Foucauldian theory of subject and of the post-Boudieuian theory of biography, the study focuses in the first part on biography as a textual practice, in the second part on a biography as a social practice. It is based on the thesis that noticeable quantitative increase of the (auto) biographical type of reflection was the result of the social changes which led from the late 18th century to the rise of the idea of an autonomous subject. It explores a series of biographical texts from the 19th century, among which occupies an important position the biography of Comenius by František Palacký. It shows how the biographical genre oscillated between individual and collective levels, and what features of biographies resulted from the late 19th century to the devalorization of the entire genre.