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December 30, 2013

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SD

I loved Father and Son when I first read it at Hunter College and again when I reread it. I also liked the fact that Edmund Gosse was one of Henry James's closest literary and personal friends.
For my Victorian Literature course at Hunter I selected the section taught by a new teacher, the noted poet James A. Wright. He was interested mainly in poetry, particularly Tennyson, and did not want to teach one of the massive novels of the period. So he selected Gosse's autobiography as the course's prose work. (The other section was taught by a professor who had often taught the course and always assigned Daniel Deronda as the novel. I was glad not to have to read that difficult and imperfectly balanced and constructed novel.)
I also liked Wright's comment that the Victorian Era for him was personified by W.C. Fields dressed as Queen Victoria. She without doubt would not have been amused, but I certainly was. Yipes!

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