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Glimpses of the Wonderful The Life of Philip Henry Gosse by Ann Thwaite

Glimpses of the Wonderful The Life of Philip Henry Gosse


Glimpses of the Wonderful The Life of Philip Henry Gosse by Ann Thwaite

This is a vivid reassessment of the life of Philip Henry Gosse, the renowned Victorian naturalist, author, illustrator and Christian fundamentalist, who as both friend and antagonist of Charles Darwin, was at the very heart of the Victorian conflict between science and religion. The author of 40 books, Philip Henry Gosse also perfected and popularized the aquarium and travelled widely before settling in Devon as a self-trained entomologist, botanist, lepidopterist, ornithologist and above all, marine biologist. In a reassessment of the extraordinary life of the man described by Stephen Jay Gould, the Harvard palaeontologist, as the David Attenborough of his day , Ann Thwaite also addresses the key question of why he has been perceived as a cruel and tyrannical father - a notion generally attributed to Father and Son , the classic memoir by his son Edmund. But Edmund himself was shocked and surprised by such reactions to his work. The father he remembered - the man deemed by the Royal Society to have done more than any before to popularize the study of natural history in England - was at odds with this portrait he seemed to have delivered to the public domain.

About the Author

Born in London, Ann Thwaite spent the war years in New Zealand, returning to complete her education at Queen Elizabeth's, Barnet, and St Hilda's College, Oxford. She has lived in Tokyo, Benghazi and Nashville, Tennessee. She has lectured in many countries, but most of her life has been spent as a writer, and she is now settled in Norfolk with her husband, the poet Anthony Thwaite. She is an Oxford D.Litt, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Her previous biographies are Waiting for the Party, a life of Frances Hodgson Burnett; Edmund Gosse (winner of the Duff Cooper Award, 1985); A. A. Milne (Whitbread Biography of the Year in 1990); and Emily Tennyson: The Poet's Wife.$$$Ann Thwaite celebrated her seventieth birthday in the week of the publication of Glimpses of the Wonderful, which she says is her final biography. She plans now to use her biographical skills on her own life, in a book tentatively titled 'My Side of the Story'.

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Book Info

Publication date

7th October 2002


Ann Thwaite

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Faber & Faber


416 pages


Natural history
Biography: historical, political & military
History of science
History of ideas



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