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Father and Son
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"Father and Son" is the memoir of the childhood and young adulthood of the author Edmund Gosse, the 'Son' of the title. Both his parents were members of the religious sect the 'Plymouth Brethren' and it was in an atmosphere of strict adherence to the teaching of this religion that Edmund grew up. From an early age, he was taught that imagination was a sin, was told stories of missionaries rather than fairytales and had no childhood companions. Yet this was not an unhappy childhood and his affection for his parents is clear, but they were unable to suppress the imagination and curiosity that is natural to every child. Over time, as the child suffers the death of his mother and grows into a young man, he starts to question the faith of his father so rigidly enforced upon him and to develop his own interests in the outside world which leads to him pursuing his own path in life. This is an affecting and often emotional portrayal of the everyday life and crises of a remarkable Victorian family.
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Edmund William Gosse was born in 1849, the son of zoologist Philip Henry Gosse. In 1870 he co-authored Madrigals, Songs and Sonnets with John Blaikie. As well as composing poetry, which was published as Collected Poems in 1911, Gosse's passion for reading led him to study European literature, and he introduced Ibsen to the English public. In 1879 he published his Literature of Northern Europe, which established him as an expert on Scandanavian and Dutch literature. He also wrote numerous biographies of literary notables including John Donne, as well as a biography of his father. Father and Son was published anonymously in 1907. He was knighted in 1925, awarded the French Legion d'honneur in the same year, and received numerous honorary doctorates from various European universities. He died in 1928.

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