1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Housman, Laurence

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

HOUSMAN, LAURENCE (1867–  ), English writer and artist, was born on the 18th of June 1867. Having studied at South Kensington, he first made a reputation as a book-illustrator. Some of his best pictorial work may be seen in the editions of Meredith’s Jump to Glory Jane (1892), the Weird Tales of Jonas Lie (1892), Jane Barlow’s Land of Elfintoun (1894), Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market (1893), Werewolf (1896), by his sister, Miss Clemence Housman, Shelley’s Sensitive Plant (1898), and his own Farm in Fairyland (1894). His designs were engraved on wood by Miss Housman. His volumes of verse include Green Arras (1896), Rue (1899), Spikenard (1898) and Mendicant Rhymes (1906); and the mysticism which characterizes the devotional poems in Spikenard recurs in his half-allegorical tales, All Fellows (1896), The Blue Moon (1904) and The Cloak of Friendship (1906). His nativity play, Bethlehem, was presented in the Great Hall of London University at South Kensington for a week in December 1902. In 1900 he published anonymously An Englishwoman’s Love Letters, which created a temporary sensation; and he followed this essay in popular fiction by the novels A Modern Antaeus (1901) and Sabrina Warham (1904). On the 23rd of December 1904 his fantastic play Prunella, written in collaboration with Mr Granville Barker, was produced at the Court Theatre.

His brother, Alfred Edward Housman (b. 1859), an accomplished scholar, professor of Latin at University College, London, is known as a poet by his striking lyrical series, A Shropshire Lad (1896).