Father and Son, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


'This book is the record of a struggle between two temperaments, two consciences and almost two epochs.' Father and Son stands as one of English literature's seminal autobiographies. In it Edmund Gosse recounts, with humour and pathos, his childhood as a member of a Victorian Protestant sect and his struggles to forge his own identity despite the loving control of his father. A key document of the crisis of faith and doubt; a penetrating exploration of the impact of evolutionary science; an astute, well-observed, and moving portrait of the tensions of family life: Father and Son remains a classic of twentieth-century literature.

As well as an illuminating introduction, this edition also provides a series of fascinating appendices including extracts from Philip Gosse's Omphalos and his harrowing account of his wife's death from breast cancer.

ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304 pages, 1 halftone
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Autobiography: literary
  • ISBN: 9780199539116

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At the risk of showing my biases here, I can't help but see this as a quiet and deeply sad chronicle of the ways religious faith and the expectations it engenders in parents for their children can drive wedges between them and hollow people out. Or primarily that; it's also a record of the practices of a particular fundamentalist sect, the Plymouth Brethren; a historical document of one corner of the evolution controversy (the thing where humans and dinosaurs lived on earth at the same time and the geological evidence was put on earth by God to trick us was not actually attributable to Philip Henry Gosse; it was a nasty caricature of his <i>Omphalos</i> by the press--funny how now it's considered fair comment and worthy of respect in some quarters); an examination of the furtive imaginations and priggish unpleasance of the stifled and melancholy child. But mostly it's the wedge-driving thing. Love your kids anyway--and that "anyway" should cover everything.

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