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 and aloof man, a recluse seemingly without emotional life. 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. He produced a monumental edition of Manilius (5 vol., 1903–30), edited Juvenal (1905) and Lucan (1926), and wrote valuable classical studies. But it is 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. The passing of youth and the inevitability of death is his most characteristic theme. 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); studies by T. B. Haber (1967), A. S. Sydenham (1936, repr. 1973), and B. J. Leggett (1978).

References in periodicals archive ?
And we were adding to it, inevitably, tracking down the Nailers Arms in Bournheath, a pretty little place outside Bromsgrove whose main claim to the fame is being the birthplace of AE Housman.
AE Housman (in A Shropshire Lad) tells us that Clun was one of the 'four quietest places under the sun'.
At this season of the year we recall the verses of AE Housman when he told of summertime on Bredon where we 'hear the larks so high about us in the sky'.
She points out that Bromsgrove School has a lot to promote, partly as the town's largest employer with over 400 staff and also as it boasts a number of illustrious old boys, including CBI director general Digby Jones and the 'Shropshire Lad' poet, AE Housman.
Since 1983, the firm has published more than 14 books and pamphlets, ranging from a bicentennial reprint of Tom Paine's short essay, The Last Crisis, to a fully illustrated and bound copy of The Shropshire Lad by AE Housman.
Only recently turned 22, maverick composer, singer-songwriter, pianist and guitarist Fyfe Hutchins could yet prove one of the most interesting artistic talents to come out of Bromsgrove since AE Housman.
The region is strewn with landmarks associated with other poets like AE Housman, stretching from evocative Bredon Hill in Worcestershire to the forbidding Long Mynd in Shropshire while the Elgar Trail threads its way through Worcestershire and Herefordsh ire.