A.E. Housman (1859-1936) was once a poet of huge reputation and common impact: a Latin student of front rank, a very good prose stylist, a remarkable author of comedian verse and, because of the large good fortune of A Shropshire Lad, one of many maximum and best-known poems within the English language, he grew to become a legend in his personal lifetime. Reissued to mark the centenary of the book of A Shropshire Lad, Norman Page's highly-acclaimed biography is thought of as the main whole account of Housman's lifestyles and profession on hand. Drawing on a variety of assets, together with a lot unpublished fabric, Norman web page presents us with a desirable perception into Housman the poet, the student and the fellow. `By a ways the easiest biography of Housman now we have ... ' - Andrew movement, instances Literary Supplement
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Additional resources for A. E. Housman: A Critical Biography
He ought to have waited," she said. '* Although Alfred's toilettraining was well behind him by this time, this ought not perhaps 26 A. E. Housman: A Critical Biography to be dismissed as a merely comic prudery; Laurence argues quite persuasively that this strong and all-too-easily-infringed taboo led to habits of 'evasion and untruthfulness': Frankness being so much discouraged, concealment and the moral sense became morbidly allied; and one grew to feel that between the individual and his social environment was a barrier which had to be defended even from those whom one loved and might naturally have trusted.
Soon afterwards a letter arrived from his father to tell him that on his birthday his mother had died, and to suggest that he should stay on at Woodchester for a while. The other children, still at home, had learned the news first; they had been taken in to see their mother's corpse, and the older ones attended her funeral; but Alfred, her first-born, never saw his mother again. The event brought to an end an enviably happy childhood: like another intelligent and sensitive child of the period, George Eliot's Maggie Tulliver, Alfred found that the golden gates had closed behind him for ever.
And as Edward Housman's family life showed signs of collapsing around him, his easy-going nature was unable to take the strain: he became withdrawn and began to drink heavily. Laurence's summing-up, eighty years later, has an unsentimental cogency: My father was amiable, kindly, easy-going, rather vain, and self-indulgent. We worshipped him as children, but became more and more critical of him as we grew older. Laurence remembered a revealing anecdote of his father which 'he told me himself without knowing how funny it was': In his early manhood, he was helping, one day, to clean out a fish-pond; and to do this he turned up his trousers above the knees - disclosing a fine pair of calves.
A. E. Housman: A Critical Biography by Norman