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At birth, Edward Gosse was dedicated to "the Service of the Lord." His parents were Plymouth Brethren. After his mother's death Gosse was brought up in stifling isolation by his father, a marine biologist whose faith overcame his reason when confronted by Darwin's theory of evolution. This is the record of Gosse's struggle to fashion an inner life for himself-a record of whose full and subversive implications the author was unaware by being acclaimed for its courage in flouting the conventions of Victorian autobiography and is still a moving account of self-discovery.