His father, Philip Henry Gosse, was a well-known naturalist who over the years wrote and illustrated several beautiful books--now collector's items--mainly about British marine invertebrates.
In 1857 two events occurred of decisive importance to Gosse and ibis father.
Philip Gosse wrote a book in which he adumbrated his masterpiece.
It was during this very time that Gosse's mother died.
Gosse did not know what to make of this discovery, but he knew that it was terribly important.
Father and Son ends in 1867 with Gosse come alone to London to live.
Just before he moved to London, Gosse had had an epiphany in which he had tried desperately to find the Lord and had failed.
My friend thought that this was a good idea, but he hoped the analysis would not "take the edge off." One wonders whether, if Gosse had gone to a university (something which he obviously deserved to do), it would have taken the edge off--the edge, in this case, of the ferocious autodidacticism that stayed with him all his life.
No doubt there would have been even more errors if Gosse had not been able to use the material gathered over many years in a country parish by a curate named Augustus Jessopp.
Gosse was close to abandoning the project when Jessopp decided in 1897 to let Gosse write the biography and turned over all of the relevant materials.
Between the time we left Gosse in the British Museum and the time when he began his biography of Donne, a great deal had happened to him.
I said at the outset that I was led to Gosse because I was trying to learn how Donne's interest in Kepler and in the New Astronomy--a term seemingly first used by Kepler--had come about.