By Richard Perceval Graves

A. E. Housman, romantic poet and classical student, is best-known because the writer of A Shropshire Lad and the meticulous editor of Manilius, the Latin poet of astronomy.

In this primary complete biography, Richard Perceval Graves convincingly reconciles the 2 it sounds as if conflicting aspects of Housman's character, and reassesses the acceptance of a guy who used to be whatever of a secret even to his closest friends.

'This is sure to turn into the normal life.' John Carey, Sunday Times

'Dispassionate and well-researched.' Philip Larkin, Guardian

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Alfred might have talked to Robert, but he was still an exile in Bath, suffering from his asthma. Grief was kept for the secrecy of the bedroom, where Laurence, for one, cried in bed at night for his mother to come back to him, half believing that if he prayed faithfully enough she would. Hiding his feelings became habitual for Alfred. ’ During her illness, Sarah Jane had withdrawn so much from the daily routine of the household that her death made little outward change. 5 Mary Housman stayed on as housekeeper, and apart from a change of governess, family life went on outwardly much as before.

In fact, none of the Housmans had earned much money since the previous century. Nor had Edward added to the inherited wealth when he married Sarah Jane; but he must have expected that, in time, he would acquire a considerable sum from his parents. Indeed, in 1867, when Alfred was a boy of eight, still more unearned wealth poured into the family coffers, when Alfred’s great-aunt, Mary Brettell, died. Thomas Housman was now seventy-two, but he conducted Mary’s funeral service at Catshill Church, although he had retired as vicar three years before.

E. Housman: Man behind a Mask (1958); Jonathan Cape Ltd for extracts from Percy Withers, A Buried Life; Jonathan Cape Ltd and The Seven Pillars Trust for an extract from T. E. Lawrence, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom; Jonathan Cape Ltd and the executors of the R. W. Chambers Estate for extracts from R. W. Chambers Man’s Unconquerable Mind; Jonathan Cape Ltd and the executors of the Laurence Housman Estate for extracts from unpublished letters by Laurence Housman, a quote from the preface by Laurence Housman to A.

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