Father and Son

- Edmund Gosse
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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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