Monday, July 17, 2017


A Real Conservative

A.E. Housman, letter to Dr. Barnes (June 5, 1914), in The Letters of A.E. Housman, ed. Archie Burnett, Vol. I (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2007), p. 326 (cf. p. xvi: "Housman's cancellations are placed within angle brackets..."):
I am obliged to you for sending me your petition, but I am returning it without signature. I confess I am attached to the current forms of words, and <I> also I am what you have often heard of but perhaps not often seen, a real conservative, who thinks change an evil in itself.
I don't have access to Burnett's edition of Housman's letters in its entirety, but it appears that he doesn't identify Dr. Barnes, who must be William Emery Barnes (1859-1939), Hulsean Professor of Divinity, University of Cambridge, and member of the Simplified Spelling Society.

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