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Father and Son Paperback – July 9, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 170 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 9, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1490938958
  • ISBN-13: 978-1490938950
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #853,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Sir Edmund William Gosse CB (21 September 1849 – 16 May 1928) was an English poet, author and critic; the son of Philip Henry Gosse and Emily Bowes.

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Format: Paperback
Edmund Gosse's FATHER AND SON is legitimately considered one of the highpoints of Victorian autobiography. As has been noted by others, the book recounts the relationship between Edmund Gosse and his father, a member of the Christian sect generally known as Plymouth Brethren, but who was also a member of the Royal Society and one of the foremost marine biologists of his time. The narrative tends to break down into a number of definite segments: the author's birth until the death of his mother; life with his father until the time of the publishing of Darwin's THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES; the move of the Gosses to the coast of England; and young Gosse's schooling and gradual growth away from the religious teachings and expectations he had received from his parents.

A number of powerful impressions evolve over the course of the telling. First and foremost, one is left with an impression of how overwhelmingly Gosse's childhood was stripped of nearly all fun by his parents' puritanical and stern religion. Gosse's father is presented not as a cruel, vicious, and hypocritical. Instead, he is shown as a caring parent, a completely earnest practitioner of his religion, but fanatically concerned to eliminate all activities that do not lead to increased religious devotion and moral seriousness. Unfortunately, this resulted for Gosse in a childhood from which all possibility of play and fun and delight had been eliminated. Near the end of the book, I was left wondering if Gosse would have been inclined to leave Christianity if he had just had more fun as a kid.

The section of the book dealing with his father's reaction to Darwin's ORIGIN OF SPECIES was for me the most interesting part of the book.
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