The E-BNR aims to build a comprehensive & unique cross-artform guide to
the British neo-Romantic tradition,
from 1880 to the present day.
While the British Romantics of 1789-1824 have spawned a vast industry of
publishers, conferences & tourism, the later neo-Romantic traditions
remain largely neglected. The E-BNR is aimed at bringing this hidden
tradition to light.
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WHAT IS NEO-ROMANTICISM ?
Neo-Romantic artists have drawn their inspiration
from artists of the age of Romanticism or earlier.
Characteristic themes in their work include a
mystical approach to the British landscape...
ENTRY: Housman, Laurence
Laurence Housman (b. July 18, 1865 - d. February 20, 1959) was a book illustrator, poet and English playwright.
The younger brother of the poet A. E. Housman, Laurence Housman was born in Bromsgrove,
Worcestershire. After education at local schools, he went with his sister Clemence
to study art at the Lambert School of Art and the Royal College of Art in London.
He first worked as a book illustrator with London publishers, illustrating such works as
Christina Rossetti's Goblin Market (1893) and
Jane Barlow's The End of Elfintown (1894) in an intricate and romantic Art Nouveau style.
He wrote of his tastes... "Romantic in temperament, and religiously sentimental in by upbringing,
I began by preferring things medieval to things modern."
He also wrote and published several volumes of poetry in the 1890s, and when his
eyesight began to fail, he turned more and more to writing. He lived his last
35 years with his sister in Street, Somerset.
Housman's first success came with the novel An Englishwoman's Love-letters (1900), published
anonymously. He then turned to drama with Bethlehem (1902) and was to become
best known and remembered as a playwright. His other dramatic works include
Angels and Ministers (1921), Little Plays of St. Francis (1922) and
Victoria Regina (1934) which was even staged on Broadway.
Housman was also a committed socialist and pacifist and founded the Men's League
for Women's Suffrage with Henry Nevinson and Henry Brailsford in 1907. A prolific
writer with around a hundred published works to his name, his output covers
all kinds of literature from socialist and pacifist pamphlets to children's
stories. He wrote an autobiography, The Unexpected Years (1937), and edited his brother's posthumous poems.
In 1945 he opened Housmans Bookshop,in Shaftesbury Avenue, London, founded
in his honour by the Peace Pledge Union, of which he was a Sponsor. In
1959, shortly after his death, the shop removed to 5 Caledonian Road,
where it is still a prime source of literature on pacifism and other radical approaches to living.