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Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars Father of the Father Memoir, 2 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Father and Son (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
The first of all father memoirs, this is still one of the best. Interestingly, Edmund Gosse's first attempt to write about his father took the form of an official biography. Written shortly after his father's death on August 23rd 1888, the Life of Philip Henry Gosse was admired by Henry James as "a singularly clever, skilful, vivid, well-done biography of his father, the fanatic and naturalist--very happy in proportion, tact and talent." Luckily, at least two other readers--John Addington Symons and George Moore--suggested Gosse should be more autobiographical and explore the father son relationship. Almost twenty years later, Gosse unburdened himself of Father and Son. Though the book was an immediate success and the reviews were largely enthusiastic, the reviewer of the Academy had reservations about the "close anatomisation by a son of a father," and the Times Literary Supplement raised the question of "how far in the interests of popular edification or amusement it is legitimate to expose the weaknesses and inconsistencies of a good man who is also one's father." Perhaps not always fortunately, subsequent writers, far more frank and confessional, showed far fewer qualms in writing about their fathers.

Andre Gerard,
Editor of Fathers: A Literary Anthology
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Location: Vancouver, B.C.

Top Reviewer Ranking: 497,552