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Citation (27)

Housman in his old age was a remote figure, one of the great men of Cambridge, and the subject of occasional speculation. Stories circulated about him and continue to circulate. Here is one, with a better pedigree than most as it comes from an ex-pupil of Housman’s friend, Andrew Gow:

The philosopher Wittgenstein, who had rooms above Housman, had no private lavatory; Housman had. Wittgenstein had to go downstairs and cross Whewell’s Court to find one. Once, when Wittgenstein had an attack of diarrhoea, he asked through his bedmaker if he might make use of Housman’s lavatory. But the answer came back that Housman was a philosophical hedonist, and therefore refused Wittgenstein’s request.

– Richard Perceval Graves
A. E. Housman: The Scholar-Poet, p. 249.


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