First published in 1907, Father and Son recounted Edmund Gosse's fundamentalist upbringing in the Plymouth Brethren. A hundred years on, A Good Boy Tomorrow tells a similar story.
Wheeler grew up in the idyllic surroundings of the Lake District of northern England. But when he was eight years old, his father returned from war service and the family moved south to their cramped home in north London. There they joined an "assembly of saints" of the Open Brethren; and so began eight years of a strict evangelical upbringing.
Sexually assaulted by an older boy at sea scouts, forbidden to write to his childhood sweetheart, and subtly pressurized into conversion, Charles twice came close to making his escape-first by running away to the Shetland Islands, and later, wracked by guilt over making a false conversion, by using his father's service revolver.
His escape was finally achieved when he joined the Royal Navy at the age of sixteen; but his conversion to Catholicism and marriage to a Roman Catholic caused a tragic family schism, and it was not until long after his father's death that he was at last able to find intellectual equilibrium in Spinoza's concept that we are all one.