Alfred Edward Housman (1859 – 1936), usually known as A. E. Housman, was an English classical scholar and poet, best known to the general public for his cycle of poems A Shorpshire Lad. Lyrical and almost epigrammatic in form, the poems were a wistful evocation of doomed youth in the English countryside, in distinctive imagery which appealed strongly to many readers, writers and music composers, especially the young.
After several publishers had turned it down, he published it at his own expense in 1896. The volume surprised both his colleagues and students. At first selling slowly, it rapidly became a lasting success, whose appeal has since struck a powerful chord with poetry readers. A Shropshire Lad has never been out-of-print.