Click Here To Purchase A Shropshire Lad (Great Poets)

Author: A.E. Housman    

Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks   
ISBN: 978-184-379-490-5
 
Shortly after the centenary celebrations of the publication of A Shropshire Lad, how apposite it is to bring out A.E. Housman’s oft prescribed cycle of poems as an audio book, vibrant with longing for the freedom and simplicity of the past and underlain with militaristic themes. That war is ongoing and, it seems, ever shall be as long as humankind is unrestrained in its nationalistic fervor for dominance of the world’s natural resources will help to ensure that Housman’s A Shropshire Lad retains its relevance for particularly the youth and youthful of not only the present but the future too. Lost love and friendship strike the key note throughout the poems, and it must be borne in mind that Housman had at the forefront of his mind fears for the safety of his youngest brother, who had enlisted in the British army in 1889, and who was, indeed, later killed in the South African War in 1900.
 
A key element that resonates throughout many of the poems is Housman’s own sadly unrequited love for a fellow student, Moses Jackson. Particularly marked in Poem 44, in which Housman decries
the heavy load placed on those who, at the time, were unable openly to declare their love for one another, the poignancy of the poet’s essential feelings of loneliness and abandonment are rendered in simple direct language, exploiting the meter of colloquialism and local dialect to the full. Yet the universality of the themes leaves a lasting impression of both the idealistic dreams of youth and the inevitability of the world taking its toll in a way that makes
A Shropshire Lad a memorable and significant work that appeals across the ages.
 
And who better than the combined team of award-winning producer David Timson and renowned character actor Samuel West to bring out the best in such writing? Timson, in addition to having made over a thousand radio broadcasts, won the Spoken Word Publishers Association for Best Original Production for his own work, The History of Theatre, in 2001. Described as managing “to sound erudite and authoritative without being pompous or highfalutin,” Timson has brought his integrity and depth of knowledge to bear on his production of A Shropshire Lad.
 
West describes his penchant for the public reading of poetry by saying, “I think I have a natural facility for verse. All actors have things they can do and things they can’t do. I’m not a very good dancer, physically I’m not as fluent as I should be, but vocally I’ve always had a facility for sight reading and for poetry.” A Shropshire Lad by Naxos AudioBooks bears full credence to both Timson’s dynamism and to West’s fluency and facility in such a medium. A memorable collection in a memorable form, may the memory of Housman continue to flourish far outside the college walls.    
 
  
Click Here To Purchase A Shropshire Lad (Great Poets)