Merlin Unwin Books

"Merlin Unwin Books are lively, innovative countryside book publishers.

Their well-produced range of rural, wildlife, fieldsports and fishing books never fail to inform and entertain."

Philip Dunne MP
co-founder of Ottakar’s bookshops

A Shropshire Lad

The enduring appeal of A. E. Housman’s lyrical English poem, A Shropshire Lad, first published in 1896, lies perhaps in its gentle accessibility and in its universal theme of loss, of love and the passage of time. Certainly its popularity today appears undiminished as it continues to console and delight.

The timeless quality of the Shropshire countryside, from the bucolic Clun valley to the bleak hills of Caer Caradoc, is captured by one of Shropshire’s finest wildlife and landscape photographers, Gareth Thomas.

Christopher Ricks, Professor of Poetry at Oxford University and President of the Housman Society, has written a thought-provoking introduction to this edition, touching on some of the reasons for the poem’s lasting popularity, including its unusual combination of classical fortitude and romantic yearning.

The biographical sketch of Housman by Ludlow historian David Lloyd sets the poem in context.


Author: A. E. Housman
Photographer: Gareth B Thomas
ISBN: 978 1 906122 06 5
Published: March 2009
Format: 260 X 214 mm
Binding: Hardback
No. of pages: 128
91 colour photographs
Price: £20.00

look inside this book
A Shropshire Lad by A. E. Housman
The Sheet, Ludlow
The Sheet, Ludlow

Press reviews

Reviewed in The Daily Mail in March 2009

'Evocative photographs of the Shropshire countryside and a typically illuminating introduction by Professor Christopher Ricks.'

Reviewed in Ludlow Advertiser in March 2009

'Every poem in this new edition is accompanied by apt and atmospheric photographs, perfectly encapsulating the mood and setting of the verse.'

Reviewed in The Shropshire Star in March 2009

'Atmospheric and evocative images. A unique book.'

Reviewed in The Shropshire Journal in March 2009

'The poems are made even better by the photographs... How could any south Salopian tire of the poetry?'

Reviewed in Country Living in April 2011

'This special edition is illustrated by landscape photographer Gareth Thomas' pictures, combining perfectly with Housman's words in a nostalgic tribute to the county.'

Reviewed in Country and Border Life in April 2011

'A mark of the poet's great popularity in the modern world... Each poem has its own individual theme and it's possible to link imagery to all of them.'

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