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Autograph Letter about a Housman Musical Setting

Autograph Letter about a Housman Musical Setting by HOUSMAN, A E [F Lyon] (1924)
Author: HOUSMAN, A E [F Lyon]
Title: A Shopshire Lad [with A E Housman letter]
Year: 1924
Publisher: Unpublished
Place: Trinity College, Cambridge
Dust Jacket: No
Signed: Yes
Price: £350
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Added under Manuscripts  

Autograph letter from the poet A E Housman granting permission for the performance of one of the many musical settings of his verse. Writing in black ink on a small bifolium of notepaper (Arum Lily watermark) from Trinity College, Cambridge in February 1924 to 'F Lyon Esq.' Housman writes 'Dear Sir, You have my permission for the public performance of your setting of my poem 'We'll to the woods no more.' I am yours truly A. E. Housman.' The letter has old folds and is disfigured by sellotape repair which is still present. The letter has been laid into an illustrated wartime edition of A Shopshire Lad though the poem actually appeared in Housman's 1922 collection Last Poems. Housman's poetry has been set to music by British composers who include Vaughan Williams, John Ireland, George Butterworth and Arthur Bliss. The musicologists Christopher Palmer and Stephen Banfield have written about Housman's appeal to British composers: ' There were various contributory factors: the preoccupations with the transience of beauty and with death, the one a favourite theme of Delius, the other associated with the Romantic movement and with the emotional aftermath of World War I. Composers were also drawn by Housman’s frankness, his homoeroticism, and the folksong simplicity of his language and metre, a formula of nonchalance generally masking a desperate agony.'
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