Norman web page offers us with an perception into Housman the poet, the coed and the man.
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Extra resources for A. E. Housman: A Critical Biography
After she had been dead for more than forty years, Laurence summed up Lucy as 'a very mixed character - a tyrant, but very courageous and staunch to her duty as she saw it ... a monument of Victorian vitality'. * Courage, staunchness and vitality were certainly in demand; as for the tyranny, it does not seem to have prevented Laurence and the others from going their own way when the time came. It is only fair to say that she seems to have made a good job of the demanding role of stepmother, and Alfred's relationship with her was a happy one.
The letter also told him of her dying request that he should not lose his religious faith. One can only speculate why she felt this needed saying, but the communication of it by her widower could have been more tactfully timed. Her plea adds great poignancy to her son's declaration, when he himself was near death, that 'I became a deist at thirteen'. * 1t fell to the Wises to comfort the boy amid their own grief, for Mrs Wise was an old friend of Sarah Housman. Her daughter Edith was seventeen, and there were also in the household a younger son and daughter and a German governess, Fraulein 'Sophie Becker.
Among the examiners were S. H. Butcher, who published in that year his translation (with Andrew Lang) of the Odyssry, and Francis de Paravicini, a friend and Balliol contemporary ofG. M. Hopkins and one of the first Roman Catholics to become, under the liberalized statutes, a college fellow. His success earned Housman an addition of ten pounds to the amount of his scholarship. Earlier, in his second term, Housman had competed for the Hertford Scholarship in Latin. Since this was open to both firstand second-year undergraduates, it is not clear why he should have attempted it after only six months at Oxford, unless it is a sign that he was regarded as exceptionally promising.
A. E. Housman: A Critical Biography by Norman