George Alfred Henty was an expert storyteller whose knowledge of history and love of adventure has made his many books widely read and admired. He was born on December 8, 1832, in Cambridgeshire, England. Being sickly and often confined to bed as a child, Henty amused himself with reading. When he attended Westminster School and Cambridge, he was an excellent student and avid at sports.
Although a healthy and studious young man, Henty eventually quit his classics studies at Cambridge in order to volunteer for the Army Hospital Comissariat in the Crimean War. When he returned home, a wounded captain, he married Elizabeth Finucane in 1857. Together they had four children before Elizabeth died of tuberculosis just eight years later. Trying to deal with this bereavement, Henty agreed to write for The Standard as a war correspondent. Already having written and published vivid letters home from his previous experience in battle, he knew his talent for giving detailed accounts, and his new position soon gave him ample adventures for his description.
After a couple of years, in 1871, Henty published his first book for children called Out of the Pampas. Henty had the nightly habit of telling stories to his children, grand tales which somtimes took weeks to consummate, and he began to convert these stories into over one hundred works of historical fiction for children. He also wrote non-fiction, short stories, and adult's literature, but his best-known works are those of children in various detailed historical settings, with messages of courage and virtue from a Christian perspective.
Henty died in 1902, leaving his second wife and two sons, his daughters having died from tuberculosis as their mother had. His works remain well-read for their excellence in historical information as well as values.
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