George Alfred Henty
G. A. Henty was born in Trumpington, near Cambridge, in the United Kingdom
on 8th December 1832. As was typical of Victorians he was a private man and
much of what we know about him has been gleaned from letters and the
biography written by his friend and colleague George Manville Fenn (1831-
1909) entitled George Alfred Henty - The Story of an Active Life Blackie & Son
Limited (1907).

Henty's childhood was marked by illness and he subsequently spent much time
in bed reading books; wildlife was one of the subjects that particularly
interested him. When his health allowed he attended Westminster school and
later Caius College but his formal education was made a difficult one being an
obvious target for bullying. It was during this period that he trained to box, a
skill that would stand him in good stead in later years. Henty left Cambridge
after a year the study being too much for him and began work in his father's
mine in Wales. His experiences were later captured in the story Facing Death,
a tale of the Coal Mines. He returned to Cambridge until the outbreak of the
Crimean War when he volunteered for military service.

Henty worked for the Commissariat in
an Adminstrative role, it was his vivid
description in letters home that tiggered
the final change of career path to Special
Correspondent and finally much loved
author of boy's adventure stories. On
recipt of his letters his father offered
them to a daily newspaper.

(To be continued)
The uniquely stated 'Second Edition' of Facing
Death published by Blackie and dated 1883
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