Lovers of Housman's poetry and admirers of his scholarship have long been aware, from the Introductory Lecture of 1892 and The Name and Nature of Poetry, 1933, that he was also master of a highly individual prose style; and others besides classical students have relished the pungency of the famous preface to his edition of Manilius. Here, in addition to these, is a selection of Housman's writings, both scholarly and general, gathered from periodicals and other out-of-the-way sources, which decisively confirms his reputation as a prose stylist. The prefaces, the adversaria and the reviews, in particular, give the layman an idea of the precision and the penetration of exact scholarship. Housman's comments and judgements on other men illuminate his own nature: withdrawn, austere, even crusty, yet gentle with the unassuming; ruthless in exposure of arrogance and pretension.
A. E. Housman
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