Miscellaneous papers of Robert E Symons, 1944-1959, on the literary estates of Laurence and A E Housman, including a few letters to Laurence Housman; a transcript in Laurence Housman's hand of the verses 'The shades of night were falling fast'; and a typescript of A E Housman's 'A morning with the royal family (from 'The Bromsgrovian', 1882).
Symons (Robert E) Papers
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- ReferenceGB 103 MS ADD 200
- Dates of Creation1944-1959
- Name of Creator
- Language of MaterialEnglish
- Physical Description1 file
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Robert E Symons was literary executor of A E Housman.
Alfred Edward Housman: born, 1859; educated at Bromsgrove School, 1870-1877; passed as a scholar to St John's College Oxford, 1877; first class honours in classical moderations, 1879; MA; worked at home for the civil service examination and helped his former headmaster with teaching; Higher Division Clerk in the Patent Office, London, 1882-1892; found time for classical study and published his first paper, on Horace, 1882; became a member of the Cambridge Philological Society, 1889; Professor of Latin, University College London, 1892-1911; his publications after 1892 were largely concerned with Latin, rather than Greek, and included works on the chief Latin poets from Lucilius to Juvenal, particularly Propertius, Ovid and Manilius; first published verse in 'A Shropshire Lad', 1896; Professor of Latin, Cambridge University, and Fellow of Trinity College Cambridge from 1911; Honorary Fellow of St John's College Oxford, 1911; in poor health from 1932; Leslie Stephen lecturer at Cambridge, 1932; delivered a lecture on 'The Name and Nature of Poetry', 1933; refused the Order of Merit; died, 1936. Numerous publications on Housman include Laurence Housman's 'A E H' (1937). Publications include: 'A Shropshire Lad' (1896); 'Last Poems' (1922); 'More Poems' (1936) and 'Collected Poems' (1939), published posthumously; editions of classical authors including Manilius Books I-V (1903-1930); various papers on classical subjects in the 'Journal of Philology', 'Classical Review', 'Proceedings' and 'Transactions' of the Cambridge Philological Society, 'American Journal of Philology' and elsewhere.
Laurence Housman: born, 1865; brother of A E Housman; educated at Bromsgrove School; moved to London and studied art in Kennington, at the Lambeth School of Art, and later at South Kensington; introduced to Harry Quilter and wrote and drew for his short-lived 'Universal Review'; introduced to Charles Kegan Paul, the publisher, who encouraged him to write; wrote for the 'Manchester Guardian' and as art critic handled controversies including the Chantrey Bequest inquiry and dispute over the statues by (Sir) Jacob Epstein on the British Medical Association building, 1895-1911; also published poetry; published anonymously 'An Englishwoman's Love-Letters', at that time regarded as daring but which sold well, 1900; while working for the 'Manchester Guardian', began a career as a playwright, but his success was limited and his subject matter involved him in controversies on censorship with the Lord Chamberlain's office and his first play 'Bethlehem' was banned for many years, although privately produced, 1902; his play 'Pains and Penalties' (1911), about Queen Caroline, was for many years banned by the Lord Chamberlain but was later released on minor revision; took up the cause of woman's suffrage and was the centre of a disturbance in the central lobby of the House of Commons, 1909; a member of the men's section of the extremist Women's Social and Political Union, but left when militancy became violent rather than symbolic, 1912; became a pacifist during World War One, 1914-1918; supported the ideals of a League of Nations and proclaimed his views in a series of lectures in the USA, 1916; his plays about Queen Victoria were performed with great success when public interest in the royal family was at its peak, 1935, 1937; from 1924 lived at Street, Somerset; became a Quaker, 1952; died, 1959. Publications include: 'The Writings of William Blake' (1893); 'Green Arras' (1896); 'Spikenard' (1898); 'Sheepfold' (1918); 'Angels and Ministers' (1921); 'The Little Plays of St Francis' (1922); 'Trimblerigg' (1924); 'The Life of HRH the Duke of Flamborough' (1928); 'Victoria Regina' (1934); his autobiography, 'The Unexpected Years' (1937); his biography of his brother, 'A E H' (1937).
The papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material, after the completion of a Reader's Undertaking.
Purchased from Sotheby's via Mr John Carter in 1970. See also MS ADD 201, an early 19th Century recipe book purchased with these papers.
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