Cover image for The road of danger, guilt, and shame : the lonely way of A.E. Housman
The road of danger, guilt, and shame : the lonely way of A.E. Housman
Efrati, Carol, 1939-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Madison, [N.J.] : Fairleigh Dickinson University Press ; London : Associated University Presses, [2002]

Physical Description:
370 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PR4809.H15 E47 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



This book is a close study of A. E. Housman's poetry, including light verse, parodies, juvenilia and workshop material, as well as the well-known poems of A Shropshire Lad, Last Poems, More Poems, and Additional Poems. It traces the homosexual parables written as light verse and the gay subtext and implications of the heterosexual and ambiguous poems as well as discusses the more overtly gay lyrics. This book demonstrates the depths and complexity of even the most seemingly pellucid poems, considering the poetry in the light the individual poems shed on each other as well as that provided by Housman's other writings and his life.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

The news of Efrati's book is not Housman's well-known homosexuality. Rather, it is how richly confessional the minor poems are, which she reveals as careful charts of Housman's travels down "the road to danger, guilt, and shame." But the title tells only part of the story, for Efrati uncovers the poet's happy side: his passions, humor, and love. She presents his homosexuality within social and legal contexts foreign to most readers. Housman adopted subtle poetic strategies and lived double and redoubled lives, as classical philologist and radical poet, and also as Victorian bachelor and passionate homosexual. His were dangerous times for honest poetry: Oscar Wilde's fate was never far from Housman's mind. Norman Page covered much of this psychological pirouetting (in A.E.Housman: A Critical Biography, CH, Apr'84), as have other scholars, including this reviewer, but Efrati has produced the richest study to date of the techniques of Housman's poetic balancing act. She senses Housman's contrary pulls and omnipresent dangers, expressed obliquely and consistently in poems about unnamable love and abject fear. Combining traditional biographical and interpretative scholarship and graceful, subtle prose, this volume is essential to comprehension of Housman's art and life. All collections. R. H. Solomon formerly, University of Alberta