Henty’s adventuring spirit was nurtured as he left Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and with his brother volunteered for and enlisted in the British Army. Commissioned Second Lieutenant in the hospital service he was later promoted Captain in the Purveyor’s Department. With little prospect of advancement, he resigned his commission and took up the offer to become a special correspondent for the Standard newspaper. He travelled the world reporting on many minor wars, as well as the opening of the Suez Canal, mining disasters, Vatican Council meetings and later the Dreyfus Trial.
From the 1860s until his death, came Henty’s books; two war histories from first hand observation, a number of novels and nearly 100 historical adventures for young readers. He also wrote short stories and articles for periodicals, magazines and anthologies.
George Manville Fenn’s biography of Henty was first published in 1907 with a second edition in 1911. It has been a longstanding objective of the Society to produce a biography which addresses some of the areas not dealt with by Fenn, whose biography was somewhat dispassionate and divorced from Henty the man.
As a result of the extensive research undertaken by the late Ann King and the Society, a series of biographical essays set within a single volume was published in 2016 initially to Members only. With over 700 pages and many illustrations, this is considered the most comprehensive account of Henty's life and work and a welcome companion volume to Peter Newbolt's Bibliography.
Members of the Society learn more about G A Henty from the many back numbers of the Bulletin and other Society publications.