G. A. Henty
Dubbed the "Prince of Storytellers" and "The Boy's Own Historian," George Alfred Henty is considered a Victorian literary phenomenon. His realistic historical fiction novels, which have been recognized by scholars for their accuracy, have engaged children and adults alike for years. Henty's courageous heroes regularly encounter prominent historical figures, including Titus, Sir Francis Drake, Robert E. Lee, and Cortez, while conquering evil empires, fighting wars, discovering land, or searching for gold.
Drawing on his own experiences fighting in the Crimean War and reporting as a foreign correspondent in Europe and Africa, Henty fashioned novels that encompass most historical periods, from Ancient Egypt to the Boer War. He was born on December 8, 1832, in Trumpington, England, and lived during the reign of Queen Victoria. He was educated at Cambridge but left without a degree to serve in the Crimean War.
Later, after several failed attempts at various careers, he found success in journalism, writing for newspapers and magazines. Henty was hired as a special correspondent to cover the Austro-Italian, Turkish-Serbian, and Franco-Prussian Wars. He narrowly escaped death during the Italian conflict. After being found by Italian troops, he was thought to be an Austrian spy and was sentenced to be hanged. Fortunately, he was able to convince the commanding general that he was not a spy, and the sentence was overturned.
Henty also participated in Garibaldi's Tyrolean campaigns and accompanied the Prince of Wales in his travels through India. During this time, he combined his war experiences with his adventure-writing skill and produced several novels a year. Henty loved the sea and spent at least six months a year aboard his yacht during the last years of his life. He died on the yacht in 1902, in Weymouth, England.