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Housman, Clemence

Entry updated 6 September 2021. Tagged: Author.

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(1861-1955) UK artist, illustrator, suffragette, poet and author. She was the sister of the poet A E Housman (1859-1936), and illustrated some works by her younger brother Laurence Housman; he in turn illustrated her most famous tale, The Were-Wolf (December 1890 Atalanta; 1896), set in a far-northern clime, where twin brothers disagree over a female Mysterious Stranger. In order to defend his deluded twin, one brother chases her through a desolate wilderness until, at the cost of his own life, he kills her: her corpse shows she was a Werewolf.

Housman's first full-length novel, The Unknown Sea (1898), features another Monster, also described – despite the author's Christian aversion to unshackled eros (see Taboos) – with non-judgmental chthonic intensity; in this case she is a mer-creature, and the scenes where her "saviour" plunges Under the Sea in his attempt to "save" her are exceedingly vivid. A third and final novel, The Life of Sir Aglovale de Galis (1905), follows the difficult life of the conflicted brother of the more famous Arthurian knight Sir Percival; exiled from the Quest for the Holy Grail [for King Arthur and Matter of Britain, plus differently focused entries on Housman and her brother, see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below], he comes after many adventures to a state of mature resignation. [JC]

Clemence Anne Housman

born Bromsgrove, Worcestershire: 23 November 1861

died Glastonbury, Somerset: 6 December 1955

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