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Father and Son

Father and Son by Edmund Gosse
By: (1849-1928)

Father and Son (1907) is a memoir by poet and critic Edmund Gosse, which he subtitled “a study of two temperaments.” The book describes Edmund’s early years in an exceptionally devout Plymouth Brethren home. His mother, who dies early and painfully of breast cancer, is a writer of Christian tracts. His father, Philip Henry Gosse, is an influential, though largely self-taught, invertebrate zoologist and student of marine biology who, after his wife’s death, takes Edmund to live in Devon. The book focuses on the father’s response to the new evolutionary theories, especially those of his scientific colleague Charles Darwin, and Edmund’s gradual rejection of both his father and his father’s fundamentalist religion.

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E Text created by Martin Adamson martin@grassmarket.freeserve.co.uk

Father and Son

A study of two temperaments

by Edmund Gosse

Der Glaube ist wie der Liebe: Er Lasst sich nicht erzwingen.

Schopenhauer

PREFACE

AT the present hour, when fiction takes forms so ingenious and so specious, it is perhaps necessary to say that the following narrative, in all its parts, and so far as the punctilious attention of the writer has been able to keep it so, is scrupulously true. If it were not true, in this strict sense, to publish it would be to trifle with all those who may be induced to read it. It is offered to them as a document , as a record of educational and religious conditions which, having passed away, will never return. In this respect, as the diagnosis of a dying Puritanism, it is hoped that the narrative will not be altogether without significance.

It offers, too, in a subsidiary sense, a study of the development of moral and intellectual ideas during the progress of infancy. These have been closely and conscientiously noted, and may have some value in consequence of the unusual conditions in which they were produced... Continue reading book >>


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