Memoirs - download pdf or read online

By John Addington Symonds

ISBN-10: 0091541700

ISBN-13: 9780091541705

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goodreads quote: Edited and brought via Phyllis Grosskurth. The Memoirs of John Addington Symonds are a startling, engrossing and precise new contribution to our figuring out of nineteenth-century sexual mores, and an quick, new vintage of Victorian autobiography. Written in 1892, yet till lately locked in a London library, they exhibit the key gay lifetime of a 19th century guy of letters. Symonds wrote his e-book figuring out that it might by no means be released in his lifetime, yet hoping that posterity could comprehend and vindicate what his personal age despised and concealed.

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1 1 My father was compared to Naamon, who refused to bathe in Jordan 12 Jordan being Bethesda, or the meeting house of the Plymouth Brethren. Sometimes I was taken to Bethesda, which brought no healing to my soul but seemed to me a pool of stagnant pietism and turbid middle-class Philistinism. This chapel did not, however, afflict me so grievously as the Blind Asylum. Partly perhaps because I knew it less, and it always had a kind of novelty. Partly because nothing which my grandmother touched was wholly commonplace or sordid.

There is every reason to suppose that my mother's constitution at this time was inadequate to the strain of childbirth and that she transmitted a neurotic temperament to certain of her children. At night I used to hear phantasmal noises, which blended terrifically with the caterwauling of cats upon the roof. I often lay awake for hours with my fingers in my ears. I fancied there was a corpse in a coffin underneath my bed, and I used to wake up thinking it had risen and was going to throw a sheet over me.

To keep himself unspotted by the world, to admit no transaction with base motives, to live purely and act uprightly, to follow honour, to postpone mundane and selfish interests to duty, to deal mercifully sympathetically tenderly justly with his brother men, to be unsparing in condemnation of rebellious evil, painstaking and long-suffering with struggling good, these were the principles which ruled his conduct. He transfigured in himself the inheritance he derived from six generations of Puritan ancestors, and he retained something of their rigidity.

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Memoirs by John Addington Symonds

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