A thoughtful and fascinating portrait of England by Peter Parker, told through the story of A. E. Housman and his much-loved poetry collection, A Shropshire Lad.
In March 1896 a small volume of sixty-three poems was published by the small British firm of Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co. Ltd in an edition of 500 copies, priced at half-a-crown each. The author was not a professional poet, but a thirty-seven-year-old professor of Latin at University College, London called Alfred Edward Housman who had been obliged to pay £30 towards the cost of publication. Although slow to sell at first, A Shropshire Lad went on to become one of the most popular books of poetry ever published and has never been out of print.
Housman Country not only looks at how A Shropshire Lad came to be written and became a publishing and cultural phenomenon, but also uses the poems as a prism through which to examine England and Englishness.
‘Peter Parker’s book is replete with fabulous observation’ The Times