© 2000

A. E. Housman

A Reassessment

  • Editors
  • Alan W. Holden
  • J. Roy Birch

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Archie Burnett
    Pages 1-19
  3. Benjamin F. Fisher
    Pages 20-36
  4. Keith Jebb
    Pages 37-52
  5. Geoffrey Hill
    Pages 53-75
  6. Norman Page
    Pages 87-105
  7. G. P. Goold
    Pages 134-153
  8. John Bayley
    Pages 154-166
  9. Carol Efrati
    Pages 188-209
  10. Takeshi Obata
    Pages 210-219
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 220-225

About this book


This collection of essays was conceived as part of the centenary celebrations of the first publication in 1896 of one of the most popular collections of poetry ever written - A Shropshire Lad - a collection never out of print in a hundred years. Yet Housman was a recluse, an austere classicist of great renown who devoted his academic life to the correction of ancient texts. He filled his poems with the lives, loves, and deaths of simple country people whose emotions are intense and often violent, but lived his own life in stoic acceptance of his loveless, arid existence. Why his life should have been so intentionally empty of emotion raises questions about Housman's own sexuality and the relationship he had with his friend Moses Jackson and Jackson's brother Afalbert. Housman's poetry, like his life, is deceptively simple: this volume shows some of the complex currents below the surface.

About the authors

Alan W. Holden has been editor, since 1987, of the Housman Society Journal.

J. Roy Birch is editor of The Selected Comic Poems of Housman: "Unkind to Unicorns."

Bibliographic information