This is the first complete edition of A. E. Housman's poetry, unprecedented in the extent to which it reveals the shaping processes of his poetic thought. To the major poetry of The Collected Poems (1939) it adds a substantial body of light verse and juvenilia, some of it printed, or collected, for the first time; and it revises the texts - particularly the posthumously published poems and notebook fragments - in the light of a comprehensive survey of manuscript and printed sources, recording all textual variants. As well as charting his compositional practices, the edition illuminates the many sources, from Biblical and Classical to contemporary, which influenced Housman - consciously or unconsciously - in his choice of ideas, images, and phraseology. Drawing on the poet's two commonplace books, works he is known to have read, and volumes from his library, the editor's commentary traces the remarkable range of his echoes and allusions, which have never before been explored in such detail. The introduction and commentary also cover dating and other textual matters, information on persons, places, and historical context, and Housman's linguistic usage.
`editing Housman's poetry is one of the tetchiest of challenges in English literary scholarship ... In his new Oxford edition of The Poems of A. E. Housman Archie Burnett looks to have triumphed. Here are 600 pages of minutely detailed scholarship. True evaluation of this edition will take as many years as its compilation, but I believe even Housman would have saluted its erudition.'
Jim McCue, The Times
... an impressive work of scholarship, meticulous in its research, clear in its presentation, thoughtful in it arguments and evaluations - and not without touches of dry humour./ ... a wonderful scholarly enterprise./ Like it or not, we are going to have to change our views of some of the poems Housman wrote, as we seem now to have them in a form nearer to what he probably intended;/ Archie Burnett has fulfilled his editor's duty superbly;/ Alan Holden (journal
Introduction - Arrangement of the Poems; MSS, Printed Editions, and the Choice of Copy-Text; Copy-Text Conventions; The Textual Apparatus; Symbols Used; Dates of Composition; Commentary
THE TEXTS: A Shropshire Lad; Last Poems; More Poems; Additional Poems; Translations; Notebook Fragments; Light Verse and Juvenilia; Latin Verse
Index of Titles and First Lines