G.A.Henty was a masterful storyteller who lived from 1832-1902. Read what my 15 year old writes about G.A.Henty.
George Alfred Henty was an exceptional historical fiction story teller. His stories were always about strong, hardworking, trustworthy and loyal young men, mostly coming from an English perspective.
Henty used historical fiction to show the English perspective in different battles. For example, in the "Tiger of Mysor," Henty shows the, 'right' English way in the conquest of India. He uses his writing talent in the books, 'By Pike and Dyke,' and 'By England's Aid' to show what the British thought of the Spanish control of the Netherlands.
Henty had good morals. In the book called, 'At Cressy And Poiters,' Walter the hero of the book knocked down his opponent, in the city games, but Ralph, just commended him on his skill. Later in the book Ralph became Walter's servant, and he remained loyal. In, 'One by the Sword,' Hector is brave and courageous, as he strives to communicate with the fortress, while it was being besieged.
Henty's characters always fight for a good cause. In, 'A March on London,' Edgar fights to protect a man from a band of ruffians. In, 'A Knight of the White Cross,' Sir Gervaise destroys a huge pirate fleet single handed, so that the coast of Italy would not be ravaged.
Henty is now called the Prince of Historical Story-Telling because of his masterly talent in creating a vivid description of English battles.
Why should we read his novels?
The essay below describes what my eldest son likes about Henty's books.
Henty's writings really spring alive and encourage you to turn the next page. There are several reasons for this quickness and cleverness in writing and the first of those reasons is that Henty had real life experience in war. The second reason is that Henty had a strong belief in doing what was right and courageous and believed in helping those in need, and standing up for women. Thirdly, Henty was a strong patriot and in his book, he condemns a traitor and exalts those that remained firm to their country. All of these great aspects can be seen throughout his novel and that is what makes his books such a pleasure to read.
In Henty's novels, there is stunning realism and amazing truth to his battles. The amount of research that Henty would have had to do would be immense. As a hospital commissariat in the Crimean War, he witnessed the heroes and the stark reality of the battle. In some of his books, he displays knowledge of someone who was present. For example, G. A. Henty was present at the Crimean War (as hosptial commissariat), the Austro-Italian War where he met Garibaldi, the British expedition to Abyssinia, the Franco-Prussian War, the Ashanti War, the Carlist Rebellion in Spain and the Turco-Serbian War. He served as Special Correspondent for "The Standard" newspaper in both Magdala and Coomassie and many other war zones.
As a newspaper correspondent, he traveled down the coast of Africa and up the Volta River to join the British expedition against the Ashantees with Henry M. Stanley reporting for the New York Herald. He was also there for the opening of Suez Canal and had been to Palestine, India and Russia. From all of these experiences and all of these visits to different countries, it is no wonder why Henty's novels are so good. They are full of danger and perils of war and are very exciting and a number of the characters he describes in the book he has even met, such as Garibaldi.
It is obvious to a reader of Henty's books that G. A. Henty believed thoroughly in a man being strong and courageous, chivalrous and a defender of women. Even in his own life, G. A. Henty has been known to have beaten down a Spaniard in a duel who had been so rude as to insult the Queen. In Italy, Henty beat off four bandits and he also defended his wife from an insulter. Henty had a dangerous job as a war correspondent and he had to sometimes come and go in disguise. From duels, to bandits, to defending a woman, and to going in disguise, Henty's life was full of adventure. All of these kinds of adventures and more can be seen in Henty's novels. Henty would generally create a character who was about the age of 16. Each character would have different traits but many were similar. For example, most of his characters were chivalrous, intelligent, fit and strong beyond their normal age, courageous, modest, humble, and with plenty of heart. The character Henty creates is a boy and a son that every parent dreams for.
Thirdly, Henty's novels are all patriotic books. In every single book, the hero will never become a traitor or give up his patriotism. His books would glorify a patriot and condemn a traitor. In many of his books the worst character would be a traitor. In the many books he has written, it is seldom that the man is not patriotic towards his own homeland. This aspect definitely adds to the books and makes them easier to read and enjoy. The character will be worthy and the book comes alive with interest.
The paragraphs above show how G. A. Henty's books are so interesting. In every way they come alive whether it be by Henty's own experiences in the war, or his chivalrous actions, or even his patriotic heart. The books that G. A. Henty have written are great books in which the writing comes alive and the reader is engaged. G. A. Henty's books are enjoyed universally now, and will be enjoyed by future generations.
G.A.Henty in Chronological Order:
Ancient History 1250B.C. The Cat of Bubastes 220B.C. The Young Carthaginian A.D. 61 Beric the Briton A.D. 70 For the Temple
The Middle Ages 870 The Dragon and the Raven 1066 Wulf the Saxon 1190 Winning His Spurs 1314 In Freedom's Cause 1340 St George For England 1380 The Lion of St.Mark 1381 A March on London 1400 Both Sides of the Border 1415 At Agincourt 1480 A Knight of the White Cross
Reformation and Exploration 1579 By Pike and Dyke 1580 St.Bartholomew's Eve 1580 Under Drake's Flag 1588 By England's Aid 1595 By Right of Conquest
Wars of Religion and Succession 1630 The Lion of the North 1640 Won by the Sword 1650 Friends Though Divided 1666 When London Burned 1690 Orange and Green 1695 A Jacobite Exile 1703 The Cornet of Horse 1705 The Bravest of the Brave 1710 In the Irish Brigade 1745 Bonnie Prince Charlie
Colonial Disruptions and Competition 1759 With Wolfe in Canada 1760 With Frederick the Great 1780 True to the Old Flag 1780 Held Fast For England 1786 With Clive in India
The Napoleonic Era 1783 In the Reign of Terror 1795 No Surrender! 1795 A Roving Commission 1795 The Tiger of Mysore 1795 By Conduct and Courage 1798 At Aboukir and Acre 1800 At the Point of the Bayonet 1808 With Moore at Corunna 1810 The Young Buglars 1810 Under Wellington's Command 1812 Through Russian Snows 1815 One of the 28th
Indian Troubles and Neighbors' Wars 1820 With Cochrane the Dauntless 1824 On the Irrawaddy 1825 In Greek Waters 1835 With the British Legion 1840 To Herat and Cabul
The Victorian Era: Defending an Empire 1850 Through the Sikh War 1854 Jack Archer 1856 In Times of Peril 1856 Rujub the Juggler 1860 With Lee in Virginia 1865 Out with Garibaldi 1867 The March to Magdala 1870 Maori and Settler 1870 A Woman of the Commune 1870 The Young Franc-Tireurs 1873 By Sheer Pluck 1873 The March to Coomassie 1879 For Name and Fame 1880 The Young Colonists 1882 A Chapter of Adventures 1885 The Dash for Khartoum 1896 Through Three Campaigns 1898 With Kitchener in the Soudan 1899 With Buller in Natal 1900 With Roberts in Pretoria 1900 With the Allies to Pekin