Edmund Gosse

Edmund William Gosse (September 21, 1849 – May 16, 1928) was an English poet, author and critic, the son of Philip Henry Gosse and Emily Bowes. [ [http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9037475Sir-Edmund-Gosse Sir Edmund Gosse] ]


On moving to London (as depicted at the close of his autobiography, "Father and Son"), Gosse took up lodgings in Tottenham after his father had organised these for him. During this time he attended the Plymouth Brethren meeting house Brook Street Chapel, Tottenham, where he spent a number of years as a Sunday School teacher. He worked as assistant librarian at the British Museum from 1867, and in 1875 became a translator at the Board of Trade, a post which he held until 1904. In the meantime, he published his first volume of poetry, "On Viol and Flute" (1873) and a work of criticism, "Studies in the Literature of Northern Europe" (1879). Gosse and Robert Louis Stevenson first met while teenagers, and after 1879, when Stevenson came to London on occasion, he would stay with Gosse and his family. He became acquainted with the pre-Raphaelites, and with Thomas Hardy, Alfred Lord Tennyson and Algernon Swinburne.

He became, in the 1880s, one of the most important art critics dealing with sculpture (writing mainly for the "Saturday Review") with an interest spurred on by his intimate friendship with the sculptor Hamo Thornycroft. Gosse would eventually write the first history of the renaissance of late-Victorian sculpture in 1894 in a four-part series for the "Art Journal," dubbing the movement the New Sculpture. From 1904, Gosse was librarian of the House of Lords, where he exercised considerable influence. He wrote for the "Sunday Times", and was an expert on Thomas Gray, William Congreve, John Donne, Jeremy Taylor, and Coventry Patmore. He can also take credit for introducing Ibsen's work to the British public.

His most famous book is the autobiographical "Father and Son", about his troubled relationship with his Plymouth Brethren father, Philip, which was dramatised for television by Dennis Potter. Historians caution, though, that notwithstanding its literary excellence, Gosse's narrative is often at odds with the verifiable facts of his own and his parents' lives. [Ann Thwaite, "Glimpses of the Wonderful: The Life of Philip Henry Gosse, 1810-1888" (London: Faber & Faber, 2002), xvi-xvii.] In later life, he became a formative influence on Siegfried Sassoon, whose mother was a friend of Gosse's wife, Ellen, and whose uncle, Hamo Thornycroft, was Gosse's lifelong friend. Gosse was also closely tied to figures such as Algernon Charles Swinburne, John Addington Symonds, and André Gide.


Published verse

*"Madrigals, Songs, and Sonnets" (1870), co-author John Arthur Blaikie
*"On Viol and Flute" (1873)
*"King Erik" (1876)
*"New Poems" (1879)
*"Firdausi in Exile" (1885)
*"In Russet and Silver" (1894)
*"Collected Poems" (1896)
*"Hypolympia, or the Gods on the Island" (1901), an "ironic phantasy," the scene of which is laid in the 20th century, though the personages are Greek gods, is written in prose, with some blank verse.

Critical Works

*"English Odes" (1881)
*"Seventeenth Century Studies" (1883)
*"Life of William Congreve" (1888)
*"The Jacobean Poets" (1894)
*"Life and Letters of Dr John Donne, Dean of St Paul's" (1899)
*"Jeremy Taylor" (1904, "English Men of Letters")
*"Life" of Sir Thomas Browne (1905)
*"Life" of Thomas Gray, whose works he edited (4 vols., 1884)
*"A History of Eighteenth Century Literature" (1889)
*"History of Modern English Literature" (1897)
* Vols. iii. and iv. of an "Illustrated Record of English Literature" (1903-1904) undertaken in connection with Dr Richard Garnett.
*"French Profiles" (1905)


*"Father and Son" (1907)

Popular culture

His book 'Father and Son' partially inspired "Oscar and Lucinda", a novel by Peter Carey, that won the 1988 Booker Prize, and the 1989 Miles Franklin Award.

External links

* [http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=creator%3Aedmund%20gosse Works by Edmund Gosse] at Internet Archive


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  • Edmund — or Edmond [ed′mənd] n. 〚OE Eadmund < ead (see EDGAR1) + mund, hand, protection: see MANUAL〛 a masculine name: dim. Ed, Ned * * * (849–870) a …   Universalium

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  • Gosse — (spr. goss ), 1) Nicolas Louis François, franz. Maler, geb. 2. Okt. 1787 in Paris, gest. 9. Febr. 1878 in Soncourt (Obermarne), wurde ein Schüler von François André Vincent und der École des beaux arts, wo er sich zu einem virtuosen Maler der… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

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  • Edmund — (as used in expressions) Andros, Sir Edmund Burke, Edmund Cartwright, Edmund Cockburn, Sir Alexander (James Edmund), 10° baronet Dewey, Thomas E(dmund) Gosse, Sir Edmund Hillary, Sir Edmund (Percival) Husserl, Edmund Kean, Edmund Martinson, Harry …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Gosse, Sir Edmund — born Sept. 21, 1849, London, Eng. died May 16, 1928, London British literary historian and critic. He worked principally as a librarian and translator (of Henrik Ibsen s plays, among many other works). He wrote the literary histories 18th Century …   Universalium

  • Gosse, Sir Edmund William — (1849 1928)    Born in London, he was brought up in Devon by his father after his mother died. In his book Father and Son (1907) he describes the tension ridden relationship with his father a member of the Plymouth Brethren. He was liberated when …   British and Irish poets

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