It's always nice to know an author has the requisite credentials. A man more equipped to write historical military adventures for boys than George Alfred Henty would be hard to find. Henty served as a soldier in the British Army, and after being invalided in the Crimea he became one of the most active and fearless war correspondents of all time.
George Manville Fenn's 1907 biography is written with the same breathless fierceness and excitement as any of Henty's novels. It's no surprise—his subject was present at multiple engagements and battles in six different wars, traveled extensively in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas, met Garibaldi, and generally did everything brave and awesome that there was to do in the 19th century.
This isn't one of those character-building biographies people were so fond of during and just after the Victorian Era, nor is it scholarly, interpretive, or even terribly detailed. George Alfred Henty: The Story of an Active Life is written for the same boys who read his novels, and his disregard of anything extraneous to the central action is strictly observed.
Salem Ridge Press' handsome reprint includes several black and white illustrations and easy-to-read print, as well as vocabulary definitions throughout of difficult or out-of-the-ordinary words. In a short preface Daniel Mills expresses his desire that Henty's life will encourage new generations of boys to embrace rigorous masculinity—we certainly expect anyone who reads Finn's book to be similarly inspired.
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