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In the latest instalment of their regular series, in which they consider major poets of the 20th century – or in this case the long 20th century – through a lens of the pieces written about them in the LRB archive, Seamus Perry and Mark Ford turn to Worcestershire lad and old-type natural fouled-up guy, A.E. Housman.

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Further reading in the LRB:

Hugh Lloyd-Jones on Housman the minor poet (1979)

John Bayley on Housman’s humour (1988)

CH Sisson on Housman’s authenticity (1992)

Adam Phillips on Housman’s losing paradoxes (1998)

Frank Kermode on Housman’s letters (2007)

Paul Keegan on Peter Parker on A.E. Housman (2016)

Other episodes in the series:

Auden Anxieties

Looking at Larkin

Arch Bishop

Hardy’s Neutral Tones

The Idea of Stevie