The Housman Society

Alfred Edward Housman (1859-1936) was born in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, and became the outstanding Classical scholar of his generation as Professor of Latin at University College London and later at the University of Cambridge. He published two volumes of poems in his lifetime, resulting in his abiding popular and critical reputation as a superb writer of English lyric poetry.  

Housman is best remembered for A Shropshire Lad, his collection of 63 poems published in 1896 and never since out of print. His poems deal mainly with love, loss and death; the mood is mainly melancholy; but the poems rhyme and scan, while their tuneful melodies keep life’s sadness at bay.

Richard Percival Graves’ full-scale biography, A. E. Housman: The Scholar-Poet (Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1979), has always been acknowledged as an authoritative and engaging biography that vividly brings its subject to life; a more recent full-scale biography by Edgar Vincent, A. E. Housman: Hero of the Hidden Life (Boydell & Brewer, 2018) contains some new information and perceptively reflects modern sensibilities. 

Details of the Society’s aims and events can be found on the website as well as a list of current publications (including our centenary edition of Last Poems with a Foreword by Andrew Motion and detailed commentaries on the individual poems).