Birth of Laurence Housman

Photographed half portrait of Laurence Housman turned slightly to his left with crossed arms, wearing a suit, tie, and pocket square

Laurence Housman was born on July 18, 1865 in Bromsgrove, England, the sixth of Edward and Sarah Jane Williams Housman's seven children. He was exceptionally close with his older sister Clemence Housman (1861-1955). Their eldest sibling was the poet and classical scholar A.E. Housman (1859-1936). Laurence attended art school— primarily book arts— in London with Clemence, who mastered wood engraving. His exceptional version of Christina Rossetti's Goblin Market (1893) led to his involvement at The Bodley Head, where he designed and illustrated many books of poetry and fiction. Here, he also collaborated with Clemence, making illustrations which she would then engrave, including those for her story,The Were-Wolf, published in1896. By 1900, declining eyesight ended his illustration career, but he was also a prolific and controversial playwright. Laurence Housman lived as an outspoken suffragist, pacifist, socialist, and homosexual advocate for sexual tolerance and freedom (Oakley, Inseparable Siblings).

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18 Jul 1865

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