Author: A.E. Housman

Profile: Alfred Edward Housman also known by the pen name A.E.Housman. He was a British poet and classical scholar. His most notable works is A Shropshire Lad. He was born in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, England and died in Cambridge, England. He was popularly known to the general public for his cycle of poems, A Shropshire Lad.

By publishing as a private scholar, he established his reputation and gradually on the basis of quality and strength of his work he was appointed as Professor of Latin at the University College of London and at the University of Cambridge, later. Editions of Lucan, Manilius and Juvenal are termed as authoritative. Two of his siblings became well known writers, brother Laurence Housman and sister Clemence Housman. Housman studied at King Edwards’s School in Birmingham and at Bromsgrove School, later where hie disclosed his academic promise and won a lot of prizes for his poems. He worked as clerk in London in the Patent Office, independently pursued classical studies and published scholarly articles.

Both Greek and Latin were included in Housman’s early work and responsibilities as a professor, but later specialized in Latin poetry. Housman enjoyed gastronomy, going for walks in the countryside, visit France frequently and travel by air.

Writing style: A.E. Housman’s genre is lyric poetry. Disappointments and dooms of youth in the English countryside are wistfully evoked in his poems in the most epigrammatic and lyrical form. The distinctive imagery, simplicity and the beauty of the poems strongly appealed to the Edwardian taste and many of the English composers of the twentieth century both before and after the First World War. Song-settings of the poems have made them associate closely not only with that era but with Shropshire itself. The poet has been described as one of the foremost classicists of his age and also ranks as one of the finest scholars who has ever lived.

Published Texts:

Poetry collections

1896 – A Shropshire

1922 – Last Poems

1936 – More Poems

1940 – Collected Poems

1939 Collected Poems (the poems included in this volume but not the three above are known as Additional Poems.

1955 – Manuscript Poems: Eight Hundred Lines of Hitherto Un-collected Verse from the Author’s Notebooks

1999 – Unkind to Unicorns: Selected Comic Verse

1997 – The Poems of A.E.Housman

2010 – A Shropshire Lad and Other Poems


Published Lectures

1892 – Introductory Lecture

1969 – Swinburne

1969 – Cambridge Inaugural Lecture

1922 – The Application of Thoughts to Textual Criticism

1933 – The Name and Nature of Poetry


Prose Collections

Selected Prose


Collected Letters

1971 - The Letters of A.E. Housman, ed. Henry Maas

2007 – The Letters of A.E.Housman, ed. Archei Burnett


Awards and Acknowledgements:

A.E. Housman did not accept any awards and honors offered to him, which include the 6 honorary degrees from British universities and the Order of Merit in 1929. However he did accept the fellowship of St. John’s College, Oxford.

In1896, ‘A Shropshire Lad’ his first volume of poetry was published.