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Father and Son Kindle Edition
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|Length: 198 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Top Customer Reviews
His upbringing was unusual, even by mid-Victorian standards. In his infancy, his intensely pious parents shunned all except the equally devout of their own kind, the Plymouth Brethren. His mother died when Edmund was seven, and her dying wish was that Edmund become a minister of their religion. His father then devoted himself, ultimately without success, to realising this wish. Gosse's career in literature brought him into friendship with such as Swinburne, than whom Gosse's father could hardly have imagined a more unsuitable acquaintance.
Gosse does clear justice to the affection within his immediate family. He also presents a balanced view of how far his parents realised their talents. He expresses his respect for their achievements - his mother as an evangelistic writer, and his father as one of the greatest marine biologists of the period. On the other hand, he suggests that their piety may have hampered even greater achievement. He suspects that his mother may have stifled a real talent for writing fiction on purely moral grounds ("because it was not true"), and explains - not without sympathy - how his father opposed Darwin's theory of evolution on purely religious grounds, and lost.
The doubts attaching to Father and Son are not of literary quality, but of accuracy. In the preface, Gosse says that he is writing while his memory is "still perfectly vivid", and that "at only one point has there been any tampering with precise facts".Read more ›
There are other interesting aspects to the book. We think of the Victorian age as being one long period but here the author demonstrates the difference between the generation who were born in the regency era and the more modern thinking later Victorians. There are many other useful insights including the observations public health in the 1850s and that the coast had been ruined by 1900 by all the tourists looking for samples etc. A fascinating book that is well worth reading.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a fascinating insight into the relationship between a son and his obsessively religious parents. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Barbara Macdonald
Gosse, Edmund. Father and Son.
Puiblished anonymously in 1907, this account of the stifling effect of religious intolerance on a growing boy is not condemned, but... Read more
This is a biography of the relationship between Edmund Gosse and his father, Philip Henry Gosse. Gosse senior was an eminent naturalist and an ardent member of a small... Read morePublished 20 months ago by David Gladwell
The book came in very good condition and on time. This was a recommendation from my book club. I only persevered with reading it as it was to be discussed by the club. Read morePublished on 22 April 2013 by M. E. Brewster
I was surprised that I enjoyed this book so much. The language was beautifully precise, some may say pedantic. The descriptions were evocative and moving. Read morePublished on 4 Mar. 2013 by mago
A superb study of the dire effect of religious single-mindedness of family relationships. The last chapter describes the unbearable strain which caused him to break contact with... Read morePublished on 5 Feb. 2013 by Dr D.
This brilliant autobiography is touching, tender and tragic, retailing the childhood of a future agnostic professor at Oxford. Read morePublished on 23 July 2012 by Samuel Romilly