A. E. Housman: Man behind a Mask

A. E. Housman: Man behind a Mask

A. E. Housman: Man behind a Mask

A. E. Housman: Man behind a Mask

Excerpt

The remarkably complete A. E. Housman collection of original rough drafts of poems at the Library of Congress was given to the Library in 1940 by Mrs. M. J. Whittall, of Washington, D. C., and was exhibited to the public in small representative selections from time to time, but was not bound in its completed form, or really open to inspection, until 1947. It contains the rough drafts and a few fair copies of nearly the entire poetic output of A. E. Housman, with the exception of his nonsense verse. All of the serious poetry that has been preserved from his original notebooks is included, with every early draft known to be extant, and many later drafts and fair copies.

The notebooks themselves had been described previously with much detail by the poet's brother and literary executor, Laurence Housman, in his preface to More Poems, 1936, and more intimately in his Memoir: My Brother A. E. Housman, 1937. There, in his analysis of the contents of the published poems, he listed 731 pages of manuscripts in four notebooks, which he named A, B, C, and D, to indicate as nearly as possible their chronology.

The difference in the number of pages in the original notebooks and the number of notebook manuscript pages received from . . .

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