Alfred Edward Housman, usually known as A.E. Housman, was an English classical scholar and poet, best known for his cycle of poems A Shropshire Lad. Lyrical and almost epigrammatic in form, the poems were mostly written before 1900. Their wistful evocation of doomed youth in the English countryside, in spare language and distinctive imagery, appealed strongly to late Victorian, Edwardian and Georgian taste, and to many early twentieth-century English composers both before and after the First World War. Through their song settings the poetry, therefore, became closely associated with that era, and with Shropshire itself.