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A. E. Housman and Thomas Hardy

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Abstract

One of the words in my title may seem to take too much for granted: Housman and Hardy is scarcely the same kind of conjunction as Beaumont and Fletcher, Wordsworth and Coleridge, Rodgers and Hammerstein or Marks and Spencer, and I shall try not to yield to that mixture of enthusiasm and desperation that often seems to activate those engaged in comparative studies. Perhaps the patron saint of such enterprises is Captain Fluellen in Shakespeare’s Henry V, who argues for the strong resemblance between King Henry and Alexander the Great: ‘There is a river in Macedon, and there is also moreover a river at Monmouth… and there is salmons in both.’ When all is said and done, differences and uniquenesses are usually more interesting and more profound than similarities, however ingeniously teased out, and in bringing together these two writers — in inviting the reader to look here upon this picture and on this — I shall, like Hamlet, often have to dwell upon dissimilarities and disparities rather than resemblances. Lurking behind my innocent title, in fact, is a shadowy and obstinate Other: ‘Housman not Hardy.’ But vive In différence.

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-1-349-62279-5_6
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© 2000 Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited

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Page, N. (2000). A. E. Housman and Thomas Hardy. In: Holden, A.W., Birch, J.R. (eds) A. E. Housman. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-349-62279-5_6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-349-62279-5_6

  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, London

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-349-62281-8

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-349-62279-5

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