Edmund Gosse

Father and Son
  • Father and Son

  • 'The classic of memoir of inter-generational strife, with an afterword from author of The Essex Serpent, Sarah Perry and an introduction from Anthony Quinn.

    Subtitled ‘a study of two temperaments’ Edmund Gosse's childhood memoir tells the often fractious, often comic story of Gosse’s relationship with his authoritarian father. A pioneering naturalist and marine biologist, Philip Henry Gosse's strictly religious worldview is brought into crisis by the discoveries of Charles Darwin and the death of his wife - and Edmund’s mother - Emily. As Edmund breaks away from his father's influence, the evolution from one epoch to the next is described in all of its struggle, humour and glory.

Sir Edmund William Gosse was born in 1849 to the Naturalist Philip Henry Gosse and the poet and illustrator Emily Bowes. Gosse was raised within the devout Protestant Sect, the Plymouth Brethen, and after the death of his mother, Gosse’s father struggled to reconcile his faith with the increasing evidence for Darwin’s theory of evolution. The psychological struggle to break away from his father’s influence formed the subject of his 1907 biography, Father and Son. A poet and a critic, as well as the librarian of the House of Lords library, Gosse wielded considerable influence in the art world of the early 20th century, and was instrumental in introducing the works of Isben to the English-speaking world. Gosse was knighted in 1925, three years before his death in 1928.

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