A. E. Housman. The Scholar-Poet by Richard Perceval Graves

By Richard Perceval Graves

A. E. Housman, romantic poet and classical pupil, is best-known because the writer of A Shropshire Lad and the meticulous editor of Manilius, the Latin poet of astronomy.

In this primary complete biography, Richard Perceval Graves convincingly reconciles the 2 it seems that conflicting aspects of Housman's character, and reassesses the recognition of a guy who was once anything of a secret even to his closest friends.

'This is sure to develop into the traditional life.' John Carey, Sunday Times

'Dispassionate and well-researched.' Philip Larkin, Guardian

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Robert, with his great and enduring reputation as a preacher, was the most famous of Alfred’s ancestors. By nature he was a reserved and formal man, so shy that, like his great-grandson, Alfred, he hated being in the company of strangers, and was usually incapable of making first advances. 3 Like Alfred, he also set himself high standards, and was proud of them. His wife inherited a considerable fortune from a distant relative, and in time much of this was passed on to their sons, William, and Thomas, who was to be Alfred’s grandfather.

E. Housman, A Shropshire Lad, quoted from an article in Encounter, extracts from letters from Laurence Housman to Katharine Symons and short quotes from A Modern Antaeus (all the unpublished material listed is © 1979 Jonathan Cape Ltd); Jonathan Cape Ltd and the executors of the Laurence Housman Estate for extracts from Laurence Housman, The Unexpected Years, and from his My Brother A. E. , New York, for an extract from T. E. Lawrence, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom; The Bromsgrove Library and Jonathan Cape Ltd for extracts from the Laurence Housman Letters given by Gilbert Turner; Charles Scribners & Sons, New York, for extracts from Laurence Housman, My Brother A.

Laurence later remembered how Alfred one day took him and Basil out on to the lawn: I was the sun, my brother Basil the earth, Alfred the moon. My part in the game was to stay where I was and rotate on my axis; Basil’s was to go round me in a wide circle rotating as he went; Alfred, performing the movements of the moon, skipped round him without rotation. And that is how I have learned, and have ever since remembered, the primary relations, of the sun, the earth, and the moon. The children were clever, and naturally competitive.

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