World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article
 

Edmund Gosse

Edmund Gosse, by John Singer Sargent, 1886

Sir Edmund William Gosse CB (21 September 1849 – 16 May 1928) was an English poet, author and critic; the son of Philip Henry Gosse and Emily Bowes.[1]

Contents

  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Personal life 3
  • Honours 4
  • Works 5
    • Published verse 5.1
    • Critical works 5.2
    • Biography 5.3
    • Other 5.4
  • Popular culture 6
  • Notes 7
  • References 8
  • Further reading 9
  • External links 10

Early life

Edmund Gosse's father was a naturalist and his mother an illustrator who published a number of books of poetry. Both were deeply committed to a small Protestant sect, the Plymouth Brethren. His childhood was initially happy as they spent their summers in Devon where his father was developing the ideas which gave rise to the craze for the marine aquarium. After his mother died of breast cancer when he was eight and they moved to Devon, his life with his father became increasingly strained by his father's expectations that he should follow in his religious tradition. Gosse was sent to a boarding school where he began to develop his own interests in literature. His father married in 1860 the deeply religious Quaker spinster Eliza Brightwen (1813–1900), whose brother Thomas tried to encourage Edmund to become a banker. He later gave an account of his childhood in the book Father and Son which has been described as the first psychological biography. At the age of 18 and working in the British Museum in London, he broke away from his father's influence in a dramatic coming of age.

Eliza Gosse's brother George was the husband of Eliza Elder Brightwen (1830–1906), a naturalist and author, whose first book was published in 1890.[2] After Eliza Elder Brightwen's death, Edmund Gosse arranged for the publication of her two posthumous works Last Hours with Nature (1908) and Eliza Brightwen, the Life and Thoughts of a Naturalist (1909), both edited by W. H. Chesson, and the latter book with an introduction and epilogue by Gosse.

Career

Edmund Gosse in 1857, with father Philip Henry Gosse

Gosse started his career as assistant librarian at the British Museum from 1867 alongside the songwriter Theo Marzials,[3] a post which Charles Kingsley helped his father obtain for him. An early book of poetry published with a friend John Arthur Blaikie gave him an introduction to the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Trips to Denmark and Norway in 1872–74, where he visited Hans Christian Andersen and Frederik Paludan-Müller, led to publishing success with reviews of Henrik Ibsen and Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson in the Cornhill Magazine.[4] He was soon reviewing Scandinavian literature in a variety of publications. He became acquainted with Alfred, Lord Tennyson and friends with Robert Browning, Algernon Charles Swinburne, Thomas Hardy and Henry James.

In the meantime, he published his first solo 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. In 1875 Gosse became a translator at the Board of Trade, a post which he held until 1904 and gave him time for his writing[5] and enabled him to marry and start a family.

From 1884 to 1890, Gosse lectured in English literature at Trinity College, Cambridge, despite his own lack of academic qualifications. Cambridge University gave him an honorary MA in 1886, and Trinity College formally admitted him as a member, 'by order of the Council', in 1889.[6] He made a successful American lecture tour in 1884 and was much in demand as a speaker and on committees as well as publishing a string of critical works as well as poetry and histories.

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.

In 1904, he became the librarian of the

External links

  • Benson, A.C. (1896). "The Poetry of Edmund Gosse." In: Essays. London: William Heinemann, pp. 292–309.

Further reading

  •  

References

  1. ^
  2. ^  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Arthur Griffith with James Joyce & WB Yeats - Liberating Ireland' Anthony J. Jordan, Westport books 2013, p, 106.ISBN 978-0957622906
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ Capt. Philip Henry George Gosse, M.D., Doctor, Naturalist, Author
  12. ^ Toward Stonewall: Homosexuality and Society in the Modern Western World. Nicholas C. Edsal, page 106
  13. ^ Essays on Gay Literature. Stuart Kellogg, page 87
  14. ^ Leeds University Library, The Gosse Collection; Retrieved 4 August 2013
  15. ^

Notes

Popular culture

  • Inter Arma (1916)
  • Some Diversions of a Man of Letters (1919)

Other

Biography

  • English Odes (1881)
  • Seventeenth Century Studies (1883)
  • Life of Thomas Gray, whose works he edited (4 vols., 1884)
  • Life of William Congreve (1888)
  • A History of Eighteenth Century Literature (1889)
  • The Jacobean Poets (1894)
  • Life and Letters of Dr John Donne, Dean of St Paul's (1899)
  • Gossip in a Library (essays about books, 1892)
  • History of Modern English Literature (1897)
  • Illustrated Record of English Literature, with Richard Garnett (vols. iii and iv, 1903–1904)
  • Jeremy Taylor (1904, "English Men of Letters")
  • Life of Sir Thomas Browne (1905)
  • French Profiles (1905)
  • Portraits and Studies (1912)
  • Collected Essays (1912)
  • Three French Moralists (1918)
  • More Books on the Table (1923)

Critical works

  • 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.
  • The Autumn Garden (1908)

Published verse

Works

Gosse was named a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in 1912.[14] He was knighted in 1925.[15]

Honours

Despite a reportedly happy marriage Gosse had consistent, if deeply closeted, homosexual desires. Although initially reluctant to acknowledge these desires after fifteen years of friendship, in 1890, Gosse did acknowledge to John Addington Symonds, around the time the latter was working on A Problem in Modern Ethics, that indeed he was attracted to men, thus confirming the suspicions Symonds had voiced earlier. "Either way, I entirely deeply sympathize with you. Years ago I wanted to write to you about all this," Gosse wrote to Symonds, "and withdrew through cowardice. I have had a very fortunate life, but there has been this obstinate twist in it! I have reached a quieter time—some beginnings of that Sophoclean period when the wild beast dies. He is not dead, but tamer; I understand him & the trick of his claws."[12][13]

Theirs was a happy marriage lasting more than 50 years and they had three children, Emily Teresa (b. 1877), Philip Henry George (1879–1959) and Laura Sylvia, who became a well-known painter. Philip Gosse became a physician, but is best known as the author of The Pirates' Who's Who (1924).[10][11]

Gosse married Ellen Epps (23 March 1850 – 29 August 1929), a young painter in the Pre-Raphaelite circle, who was the daughter of George Napoleon Epps, one of the Epps family of homoeopaths. Though she was initially determined to pursue her art, she succumbed to his determined courting and they married in August 1875, with a reception at the house of Lawrence Alma-Tadema whose pupil she had been, visiting his parents, who did not attend the registry office wedding, at the end of their honeymoon in Devon and Cornwall. She continued to paint and wrote stories and reviews for various publications. In 1907, she inherited a sizeable fortune from her uncle, James Epps, the cocoa manufacturer.[4]

Personal life

Another work of his is The Autumn Garden, which was published in 1908 by the London publisher William Heinemann. This book includes: Proem, Lyrics in the Mood of Reflection, Sonnets, Songs of Roses, Commemorations and Inscriptions, Verses of Occasion, Paraphrases and a final Epilogue in the Autumn Garden. It contains more than 50 individual pieces within it.[9]

. André Gide, and John Addington Symonds, Algernon Charles Swinburne, the nephew of his lifelong friend, Hamo Thornycroft. Sassoon's mother was a friend of Gosse's wife, Ellen. Gosse was also closely tied to figures such as Siegfried Sassoon In later life, he became a formative influence on [8] His most famous book is the autobiographical

[7]

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.