AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT OF HIS HUMOROUS POEM 'PURPLE WILLIAM OR THE LIAR'S DOOM', 20 lines in five four-line stanzas, 1 page, large lined folio
The hideous hue which William is
Was not originally his:
So long as William told the truth
He was a usual-coloured youth...
This poem, so reminiscent of Belloc's Cautionary Verse, is published by both Pugh and Ricks. Housman wrote comic verse from his time as an undergraduate and for most of his life.
PROVENANCE: Sotheby's 15 December 1988, lot 76. Lots 76-86 in the sale evidently derived from the same source; lot 85 comprised eleven autograph letters by Housman to Donald Robertson, Professor of Greek at Cambridge, and Fellow and later Vice-Master of Trinity College.
REFERENCES: A.E. Housman: Collected Poems and Selected Prose, edited by Christopher Ricks, 1988; John Pugh, Bromesgrove and the Housmans, 1974.