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Review of George Alfred Henty: The Story of an Active Life

George Alfred Henty: The Story of an Active Life

G. A. Henty is one of our children’s favorite authors.  He’s one of mine, too, for each of his exciting books portrays history from a Christian worldview.  I’ve always wondered, though, how one man could write so many historically accurate books. George Alfred Henty: The Story of an Active Life by George Mannville Fenn helps to answer that question and more. It’s the fascinating story of Henty’s busy life as a war correspondent and author, written just after his death in the early 1900’s. 

Since this biography was written for turn-of-the-century boys, it is full of action, adventure, and detailed descriptions.  It covers the most interesting times of Henty’s life, from his youth and his travels with the armies of the world, to his tour of India, his work in Africa, and his boating hobby.  Henty wrote letters back to his newspapers from the Crimean war, the opening of the Suez Canal, the Abyssinian campaign, and many other major events in 19th century history.  Henty’s biographer outlines his war correspondent duties as well as more enjoyable times such as his visit to an Italian fair, his description of a famous grotto, and his writing life in England.  

This book is not only about facts.  The biographer also takes great pains to display Henty’s courage and determination in the face of danger, his calm acceptance of discomfort, and his good-natured approach to life.  These qualities make him a good role model for young people.  Naturally, the boys who populate Henty’s novels are all inspiring, likeable fellows, very similar, apparently, to the author himself.

When I asked Mr. 15 what he thought of this biography he said in typical boy fashion, “It’s a good book.  It’s about Henty, and I like Henty.  What more is there to say?” 

If your children enjoy Henty’s novels, they will enjoy this fascinating biography.  It’s a great eye-witness trek through 19th century history and geography and would make a valuable addition to your teen’s reading list.

To see what George Alfred Henty:  The Story of an Active Life is like, please read the first chapter on the Salem Ridge Press website. Notice that this modern edition includes helpful maps, historical notes, and definitions. You will also notice that it is not suitable for struggling readers to read on their own, although they would enjoy having it read aloud to them.   

George Alfred Henty: The Story of an Active Life is available from Salem Ridge Press.    Currently Salem Ridge Press has a fifth anniversary sale, and I encourage you to explore their many other exciting and wholesome books before finishing your Christmas shopping.   

Disclosure:  I received this book from Salem Ridge Press in order to review it.  I receive no compensation for this review and my opinions are my own.

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One Comment

  1. LarabaK says:

    I have a friend who found a bunch of Henty books at a used bookstore and snapped them up. I’d love the whole series myself but am not able to face the expense. Well, I have my friend’s to borrow, what a blessing! Anyway, Henty’s books are great and I’m sure the biography is great too. I’ll look into acquiring it.

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