Housman Country: Into the Heart of England

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A New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice and Nominated for the 2017 PEN/Bograd Weld Prize for Biography

A captivating exploration of A. E. Housman and the influence of his particular brand of Englishness

A. E. Housman's A Shropshire Lad made little impression when it was first published in 1896 but has since become one of the best-loved volumes of poetry in the English language. Its evocation of the English countryside, thwarted love, and a yearning for things lost is as potent today as it was more than a century ago, and the book has never been out of print.

In Housman Country, Peter Parker explores the lives of A. E. Housman and his most famous book, and in doing so shows how A Shropshire Lad has permeated English life and culture since its publication. The poems were taken to war by soldiers who wanted to carry England in their pockets, were adapted by composers trying to create a new kind of English music, and have influenced poetry, fiction, music, and drama right up to the present day. Everyone has a personal "land of lost content" with "blue remembered hills," and Housman has been a tangible and far-reaching presence in a startling range of work, from the war poets and Ralph Vaughan Williams to Inspector Morse and Morrissey.

Housman Country is a vivid exploration of England and Englishness, in which Parker maps out terrain that is as historical and emotional as it is topographical.

Author: Peter Parker
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Published: 06/19/2018
Pages: 546
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 1.75lbs
Size: 9.02h x 5.98w x 1.22d
ISBN13: 9780374537869
ISBN10: 0374537860
BISAC Categories:
- Biography & Autobiography | Literary Figures
- Literary Criticism | English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
- Literary Criticism | Poetry

About the Author
Peter Parker was born in Herefordshire and was educated in the Malverns, Dorset, and London. He is the author ofThe Old Lie: The Great War and the Public-School Ethos and biographies of J. R. Ackerley and Christopher Isherwood. He edited The Reader's Companion to the Twentieth-Century Novel and The Reader's Companion to Twentieth-Century Writers, and was an associate editor of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. He writes about books and gardening for a wide variety of newspapers and magazines and lives in London's East End.