New PDF release: A. E. Housman: A Critical Biography

By Norman

ISBN-10: 0333656016

ISBN-13: 9780333656013

ISBN-10: 1349245844

ISBN-13: 9781349245840

A.E. Housman (1859-1936) used to be a poet of large reputation and frequent impression: a Latin student of front rank, an outstanding prose stylist, a amazing author of comedian verse and, due to the big luck of A Shropshire Lad, one of many maximum and best-known poems within the English language, he turned 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 existence and occupation on hand. Drawing on quite a lot of assets, together with a lot unpublished fabric, Norman web page presents us with a desirable perception into Housman the poet, the student and the guy. `By some distance the simplest biography of Housman we now have ... ' - Andrew movement, occasions Literary Supplement

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M. Hopkins and one of the first Roman Catholics to become, under the liberalized statutes, a college fellow. His success earned Housman an addition of ten pounds to the amount of his scholarship. Earlier, in his second term, Housman had competed for the Hertford Scholarship in Latin. Since this was open to both firstand second-year undergraduates, it is not clear why he should have attempted it after only six months at Oxford, unless it is a sign that he was regarded as exceptionally promising.

Again, that 'living and intense' way was later to characterize Housman's own classical teaching. Alfred 'took no part in games or athletics', but he had a 'natural liking for book-learning' ,* did well academically, and won a prize for English verse. He was rather small and not physically assertive, and was bullied at first: our knowledge of the troubles at home makes it saddening to learn that the other boys nicknamed him Mouse and 'used to tread on him pretending they could not see him'. * In his quiet way, though, he showed determination and a strong ambition to excel in whatever he undertook willingly.

Little Laurence suffered a prolonged illness. 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family life showed signs of collapsing around him, his easy-going nature was unable to take the strain: he became withdrawn and began to drink heavily.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.

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A. E. Housman: A Critical Biography by Norman


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