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Father and Son – a book recommendation

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MS0700_1949_H_Biography_JS

I’m reading Father and Son by Edmund Gosse, and want to recommend it to you.

Father and Son is an autobiography that records a boy’s upbringing in a puritanical household.

The father, Philip Gosse, was one of the blindly faithful, a sombre fellow who recorded his son’s birth with this emotionally-vacant entry in his journal:

E. delivered of a son. Received green swallow from Jamaica.

Rejecting Darwin

One of the most fascinating aspects of the book is that Philip Gosse was a prominent marine biologist, and was approached by Darwin and his supporters in search of support for their new theory.

Philip Gosse struggled to reconcile his fundamental faith in the Bible with Darwin’s theory of evolution, so he rejected it and wrote a book that expounded an alternative theory. He believed that his book, his ‘Omphalos’ would ‘bring all the turmoil of scientific speculation to a close’ and ‘fling geology into the arms of Scripture’. But:

…alas! atheists and Christians alike looked at it, and laughed, and threw it away.


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