G.A. Henty (George Alfred Henty) | First Editions

1832 - 1902

George Alfred Henty (8 December 1832 – 16 November 1902) was a prolific English novelist and war correspondentHe is best known for his historical adventure stories that were popular in the late 19th century. His works include The Dragon & The Raven(1886), For The Temple (1888), Under Drake's Flag (1883) and In Freedom's Cause (1885). 

Henty was a sickly child who had to spend long periods in bed. During his frequent illnesses, he became an avid reader and developed a wide range of interests which he carried into adulthood. In adulthood, Henty volunteered for the Army Hospital Commissariat, and was soon sent to the Crimea following the outbreak of the Crimean War. His letters home were filled with vivid descriptions of the appalling conditions  experienced by soldiers. His father sent these letters to the Morning Advertiser newspaper, which printed them. Later, Henty accepted the offer to become a special correspondent (the early name for journalists now better known as war correspondents).

His children's novels typically revolve around a boy or young man living in troubled times - for example, wartime. Henty's heroes – which occasionally included young ladies – are uniformly intelligent, courageous, honest, resourceful, and with plenty of 'pluck'. However, his works are not without controversy. Henty has been called by one critic, "spectacularly racist". However, other reviewers see Henty's depiction of Empire as "refreshingly heroic and patriotic".

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