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Laurence Housman Biography

(1865–1959), An Englishwoman's Love Letters, Trimblerigg: A Book of Revelation

British writer, born near Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, the brother of A. E. Housman; he studied painting in London and became a highly regarded illustrator. His first successful publication was An Englishwoman's Love Letters (1900), an ingenious parody of romantic fiction. Trimblerigg: A Book of Revelation (1924), a comically effective political satire directed against Lloyd George, and The Duke of Flamborough (1924) are the best-known of his novels. The protagonists of his plays, collections of which include The Little Plays of St Francis (1922) and Victoria Regina (1934), were recurrently based on biblical personages and English royalty, with the result that his work repeatedly incurred the Lord Chamberlain's ban. Among his earlier collections of poetry are Green Arras (1896) and Spikenard (1898); a Collected Poems was published in 1937. As a poet, he tended towards conventional sentimentality, though he was capable of memorably epigrammatic effects. A prolific author, his other works include fairy tales with his own illustrations, art criticism, and treatises on prison reform and the emancipation of women. A. E. H. (1937) contained his memoir of A. E. Housman, together with eighteen previously uncollected poems and a selection of letters. The Unexpected Years (1937) is an autobiography. Laurence Housman, an illustrated critical biography by Rodney Engen, was published in 1973.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Honest Ulsterman to Douglas Hyde Biography