Woodhouse, A.S.P.

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BA, UofT (1919); AM, Harvard (1922)
English; Head, University College English Department


"English Thought 1640-1740"

"English Thought 1740-1830"

"Origins of Romanticism"

"Arthur Sutherland Pigott Woodhouse was born in Port Hope, Ontario, on September 27, 1895. He obtained a B.A. at the University of Toronto in 1919 and was Townsend Scholar at Harvard University, where he took an A.M. in 1922. Since he did not have the time to commit to mastering Old and Middle English to meet the requirements of the General Examination, he did not complete the doctoral program. An eminent Miltonist, the head of the University College Department of English and the most widely influential English professor in Canada for the last twenty years of his life, Woodhouse received many honours, including a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1942 and an honorary D.Litt. from Acadia University in 1948. He was also a distinguished member of the Royal Society of Canada"

Woodhouse graduated from University College in Modern History in 1919. He spent the next year as a temporary assistant and as a M.A. registrant. After his A.M., he was given an appointment as a assistant professor at the University of Manitoba. Malcolm Wallace of University College offered Woodhouse the same position in 1929. After a sabbatical year and ensuring he would be the senior assistant professor at University College, he accepted Wallace's offer.

"Woodhouse joined the U of T staff in 1929 and introduced a plan "whereby students naturally adaptive for History and Philosophy should have an option provided for them in the English Language and Literature course" The plan was approved, and by 1938-39, students took three honours options in each of their first two years, two in their third year, and one in their fourth. In the first two years, one of the options had to be a language, and one had to be either history or philosophy, and whichever subjects were chosen in the first year had to be continued in the second year."

In 1959 at a Ph.D. meeting, Woodhouse proposed the idea of a masters program designed specifically for the needs of junior college teachers. He explained its usefulness to potential high school teachers, especially those teaching the final year (which was practically considered the first year of university). Basically he stated that the M.A would follow the same format as a typical M.A. program, but with the exclusion of the thesis element, and the inclusion of a teaching fellowship. The proposal was an early anticipation of the Masters of Arts in Teaching program, introduced in the late 1970s.

Woodhouse was responsible for the appointment of chairmen for all graduate departments from 1946 to his retirement in 1964. He died in October 1964.


  • Essays in English literature from the Renaissance to the Victorian Age: presented to A.S.P. Woodhouse. Ed. Millar MacLure and F.W. Watt. Toronto: University Press, 1964. PR 99 W6 Robarts Library
    * Greater English poets. Ed. A.W. Crawford, Aaron J. Perry, and A.S.P. Woodhouse. Toronto: Macmillan, 1929. LE.C C899g Robarts Library
    * Kirkconnell, Watson, and A.S.P. Woodhouse. The humanities in Canada. Ottawa: Humanities Research Council of Canada, 1947. LA 417 .7 K5 Robarts Library
    * Woodhouse, A. S. P., Northrop Frye, Eric Ashby, Geoffrey Vickers. Four essays. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1960. Pam PN 85 W66 Victoria College Library
    * --. The Heavenly Muse; a preface to Milton. Ed. Hugh MacCallum. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1972. PR 3588 W584 Robarts Library
    * --. Milton the poet. Toronto: J.M. Dent, 1955 PR 3588 W6 Robarts Library
    * --. Nature and grace in The faerie queene. Baltimore, 1949. PR 2358 W6 Robarts Library
    * --. Notes on Milton's views on the creation: the initial phases. Iowa City State University, 1949. PR 3592 R4W6 Robarts Library
    * --. The poet and his faith: religion and poetry in England from Spenser to Eliot and Auden. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1965. PR 508 R4W6 Robarts Library
    * --. Puritanism and liberty: being the Army Debates (1647-9) from the Clarke Manuscripts with supplementary documents. Ed. A.S.P. Woodhouse; foreword by A.D. Lindsay. London: Dent, 1938. 2nd edn. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1950. BX 9331 A55 Robarts Library
    * --. Romanticism and the history of ideas. Section 2. London: Oxford University Press, 1951. PN 56 R7W6 Robarts Library


Harris, Robin S. English Studies at Toronto: A History. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1988.