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Edmund Gosse

Edmund William Gosse (1849-1928) was an English poet, author and critic, the son of Philip Henry Gosse. 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). He became acquainted with the pre-Raphaelites and Algernon Swinburne.

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 father, Philip. In later life, he became a formative influence on Siegfried Sassoon, whose mother was a friend of Gosse's wife, Ellen.

Published verse:

  • 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:

  • 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 connexion with Dr Richard Garnett.
  • 'French Profiles (1905)

External Link

  • the e-text of Edmund Gosse's autobiography: Father And Son (http://www.abacci.com/books/book.asp?bookID=671)

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