A.E. Housman

On this date in 1859, Alfred Edward Housman was born in England. He took a “passing degree” from Oxford, and received several university appointments, moving permanently to Trinity College in 1911. His most famous work, a book of poems called A Shropshire Lad, has stayed in print since it was first published in 1896. His second, long-awaited volume of poetry, Last Poems, was published in 1922.

After he died at age 77 in 1936, his brother put together posthumous collections. Housman’s writing was irreverent, including such lines as, “It is a fearful thing to be The Pope. That cross will not be laid on me, I hope.”

Freedom From Religion Foundation