I cannot recommend Edmund Gosse’s memoir Father and Son (1907) on the merits of its prose. Gosse is a competent writer with a good vocabulary who describes things precisely, recording their beauty or wit as a scientist would. He is diligent and honest, and so whatever grace his writing achieves is situational.
But I found Father and Son fascinating for its subject matter. Gosse was raised in an (to me) incomprehensibly strict Evangelical family, and his memoir records his slow fall away from that faith. So rather than highlighting Gosse’s language, I want to talk a bit about his topic and some of the reflections it’s led me to have about my own relationship with belief.Read More