Biezhuan 別傳 (secondary biography, also translated as unofficial biography or separate biography) was a type of independant record about a particular person. This type of written record began emerging about the latter years of Later Han.
These secondary biographies focused entirely on individuals as a demonstration of their accomplishments and special traits, or at least their cause for celebrity. Biezhuan of individuals allowed for a richness of detail not possible in collected compilations, and later notices of these persons in the dynastic histories often were derivative of these fuller biographical accounts. Accounts of ancestors, siblings, and progeny sometimes were appended to the biezhuan and in this way the biezhuan complemented the genealogical compilations that also began to proliferate at approximately the same time.
- Berkowitz, Alan J. Patterns of Disengagement. Stanford University Press, 1997.