A. E. Housman Biography
Birthday: March 26, 1859 (Aries)
Born In: Fockbury, England
Alfred Edward Housman, better known as A. E. Housman, was an English classical scholar and poet regarded as one of the greatest scholars of all time and one of the foremost classicists of his age. His poems were marked by a romantic pessimism which he expressed in a simple and lucid style. His best known work is the cycle of poems ‘A Shropshire Lad’ which reflected his deep pessimism and obsession with death. His pessimism is often attributed to the untimely death of his mother when he was just 12. Another reason for the sadness and loneliness in his life was the fact that he was homosexual and deeply in love with a man who could not reciprocate his feelings. He attended the Oxford University to study classics but could not pass his examination owing to the constant emotional turmoil he found himself in. Nevertheless, he continued studying classical texts in Latin privately and wrote articles for journals. His mastery of the language despite not having a university degree led to his appointment as a Professor of Latin at the University College London. Although famous as a poet, he considered himself to be a Classicist, a Latinist, and regarded poetry as a secondary activity.