A. E. Housman
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Alfred Edward Housman (26 March 1859 – 30 April 1936), usually known as A.E. Housman, was an English classical scholar and poet, best known for his cycle of poems A Shropshire Lad. Lyrical and almost epigrammatic in form, the poems were mostly written before 1900. Their wistful evocation of doomed youth in the English countryside, in spare language and distinctive imagery, appealed strongly to late Victorian, Edwardian and Georgian taste, and to many early twentieth century English composers (beginning with Arthur Somervell) both before and after the First World War. Through their song-settings the poetry therefore became closely associated with that era, and with Shropshire itself.
Housman was counted one of the foremost classicists of his age, and ranks as one of the greatest scholars of all time. He established his reputation publishing as a private scholar and on the strength and quality of his work was appointed Professor of Latin at UCL and later, at Cambridge. His editions of Juvenal, Manilius and Lucan are still considered authoritative.