Towards the end of March 1871, Alfred Housman was staying at the home of the Wises, family friends of long standing, in the Gloucestershire village of Woodchester. He had been dispatched there from his own home at Bromsgrove on 19 March; and there, a week later, he celebrated his twelfth birthday. Soon afterwards a letter arrived from his father to tell him that on his birthday his mother had died, and to suggest that he should stay on at Woodchester for a while. The other children, still at home, had learned the news first; they had been taken in to see their mother’s corpse, and the older ones attended her funeral; but Alfred, her first-born, never saw his mother again.
KeywordsAmid Income Defend Dispatch Verse
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- ‘every scrap of writing’: Katharine Symons, ‘Boyhood’, Alfred Edward Housman (Housman Memorial Supplement of The Bromsgrovian, 1936) 10.Google Scholar
- The school: see J. D. Collis, A Short History of the Grammar School of King Edward VI, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire (Bromsgrove, 1960)Google Scholar
- H. E. M. Icely, Bromsgrove School through Four Centuries (Oxford, 1953) 81, 89.Google Scholar
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