A.E. Housman, Conservative

Here is a link to good overview of poet A.E. Housman’s life, sexuality,  and most especially political views, by E. Christian Kopff:

Article on Housman

And here’s a humorous (well, I found it to be so) excerpt from the article:

The Housmans were Conservatives and their favorite family toast was “Up with the Tories and out with the Radicals!” (25) His letters home make politics the best-documented aspect of his college years. (26) At Oxford he participated in student debates and demonstrations. A strong Conservative in a Conservative stronghold, he objected to the way his fellow Conservatives shouted down and threw out Liberal opponents. He had no objection, however, to burning Gladstone in effigy and was quite put out by the Liberal victory of 1880. (27) Later in life he professed indifference to party politics, but “generally welcomed a Conservative victory at a bye-election, ‘because,’ he said, ‘it will vex the kind of people I don’t like’.” (28) Several of his letters reveal a detailed knowledge of the leaders and politics of the Conservative Party and a healthy disdain for “the fetish” of Free Trade. (29) He went out of his way to tell the leftist Gilbert Murray that he would not vote for him (30) and made fun of Murray’s pacifism. “I rather doubt if man really has much to gain by substituting peace for strife, as you and Jesus Christ suggest.” (31)’

–Charming, in a British sort of way,  how Jesus Christ is framed as just another liberal. . . .And it seems as if Housman’s beloved Tories may return to power soon in England.


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