GOSSE, Philip Henry (1810-1888). Zoologist and religious writer.
Autograph Letter Signed to W. Lavers, 4 pages 8vo (some soiling and foxing, and an ink endorsement to page 4), Sandhurst, Torquay, 26 February 1877. Evidently to a friend and fellow orchid enthusiast, discussing the possible exchange of specimens, and sending personal news.
'I was well pleased to hear that the Orchid-mania having bitten you, had broken out with so favourable an eruption. Go on & prosper! Thank you for the offer of Sophronitis grandi-flora; I have some nice specimens of it. ... It is a most charming bloomer, & so very compact & neat, & so easy to grow, that it specially suits a small collection. May I venture to commend you to keep what you have.'Gosse's correspondent is presumably the W. Lavers who had been president of the Torquay District Gardener's Association, who lectured on orchids at the opening of the winter session in 1892.
Philip Henry Gosse was the subject of his son Edmund Gosse's most important book Father and Son (1907). In contrast to the bigotted tyrant depicted in the book, however, he is known to have been a kindly and tolerant man, whose error as a father was to attempt to protect his son from from the world, the flesh and the devil. Never a popular line.
The image is of the first page only.