"Great literature should do some good to the reader: must quicken his perception though dull, and sharpen his discrimination though blunt, and mellow the rawness of his personal opinions."
A. E. Housman : A Reassessment
(Alan W. Holden (Editor), J. Roy Birch (Editor)
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. 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 Adalbert. Housman's poetry, like his life, is deceptively simple: this volume shows some of the complex currents below its surface