A. E. Housman

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Housman, A. E.

(Alfred Edward Housman) (hous`mən), 1859–1936, English poet and scholar, whose verse exerted a strong influence on later poets. He left Oxford without a degree because he had failed his final examinations. Ever afterward he was a coldly reserved, shy, and aloof man, a recluse seemingly without emotional life, but in truth a deeply closeted homosexual who may never have acted on his feelings. After serving for 10 years in the civil service, he became in 1892 a professor of Latin at University College, London, and in 1911 professor of Latin at Cambridge and fellow of Trinity College. Housman proved to be one of the finest classical scholars of his time, and a caustic critic of other scholars. Specializing in textual criticism, he produced a monumental edition of ManiliusManilius, Marcus
, fl. A.D. 10, Roman poet. Of his didactic poem on astrology, the Astronomica, five books remain. These may or may not have constituted the whole work.
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 (5 vol., 1903–30), edited JuvenalJuvenal
(Decimus Junius Juvenalis) , fl. 1st to 2d cent. A.D., Roman satirical poet. His verse established a model for the satire of indignation, in contrast to the less harsh satire of ridicule of Horace.
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 (1905) and LucanLucan
(Marcus Annaeus Lucanus) , A.D. 39–A.D. 65, Latin poet, b. Córdoba, Spain, nephew of the philosopher Seneca. At first in Nero's favor, he was later forced to kill himself when his part in a plot against the emperor was discovered.
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 (1926), and wrote valuable classical studies. It is, however, as a poet that he is best known, although only two small volumes appeared during his lifetime, A Shropshire Lad (1896) and Last Poems (1922). His verse is noted for its economy of words and directness of statement, pictures of the English countryside, and the fusion of humor and pathos, and is widely thought of as quintessentially English. The passing of youth and the inevitability of death are his most characteristic themes. His best-known poems include "When I Was One-and-twenty," "With Rue My Heart Is Laden," "To an Athlete Dying Young," and "Far in a Western Brookland." His essay The Name and Nature of Poetry (1933) was originally given as a lecture at Cambridge.


See his complete poems (ed. by T. B. Haber, with an introduction by B. Davenport, 1959); biography by G. Richards (1942, repr. 1973), biography and critical study by P. Parker (2017); studies by T. B. Haber (1967), A. S. Sydenham (1936, repr. 1973), and B. J. Leggett (1978).

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References in periodicals archive ?
It is a successful and artistically satisfying poem, but there are good reasons not to identify the speaker with A.E. Housman. (60) Professor Housman devoted a public lecture, "The Application of Thought to Textual Criticism," (61) to mocking classical scholars who edit texts without thinking, just as Last Poems 9 mocks thoughtless young men and Last Poems 12 mocks silly rebellion against conventional morality.
Referring to A.E. Housman again, in The Name and Nature of Poetry, "Experience has taught me, when I am shaving of a morning, to keep watch over my thoughts, because if a line of poetry strays into my memory, my skin bristles so that the razor ceases to act." Norman Rockwell put three melodic barbers and a customer together, and the result appears to have a like effect.
Alcmaeon's story was the subject of the modern parody "A Fragment of a Greek Tragedy," by A.E. Housman.
Chesterton, George Bernard Shaw, A.E. Housman, W.B.
Naiditch, A.E. Housman at University College, London.
As well as The Gorge we are celebrating Shropshire's great engineer, Thomas Telford, its great scientist Charles Darwin and its great poet A.E. Housman. We are thrilled to be in the county."
Yeats (set by Rebecca Clarke) and Francis Thompson (Frank Bridge), and two separate settings - by Clarke and Elaine Hughes-Jones -of A.E. Housman's doomy little Eight O'Clock.
A.E. Housman paid a notable tribute to the fallen of World War I.
"The wood's in troubleaa" as poet A.E. Housman wrote in 1896.
From CLARENDON PRESS, OXFORD we have in two volumes The Letters of A.E. Housman ([pounds sterling]180.00) edited by Prof.
In his Lincoln Center Theater production of "The Invention of Love," he rendered the playwright's daunting erudition, meticulous research and seemingly academic subject (poet and classicist A.E. Housman) cogent, immediate and even emotional.
Bredon Hill is immortalised in A.E. Housman's classic poem, A Shropshire Lad.