William Ernest Henley
1 Early life and education 2 Career
2.1 Early career 2.2 Publishing career
3 Personal life 4 Works
4.1 List of works
4.1.1 Edited volumes 4.1.2 Poetry
4.2 Discussion of works
5 In artistic cross-reference 6 In popular culture 7 Further reading 8 References and notes 9 External links
Early life and education
William Ernest Henley
William Ernest Henley.
Soon after passing the examination, Henley moved to London and
attempted to establish himself as a journalist.:35 His work over
the next eight years was interrupted by long stays in the hospital,
because his right foot had also become diseased.
Henley contested the diagnosis that a second amputation was the only
means to save his life, seeking a consultation with the pioneering
late 19th-century surgeon Joseph Lister at the Royal Infirmary of
Henley spent three years in hospital (1873–1875), during which he
wrote and published the poems collected as In Hospital.[citation
needed] Although Lister's treatment had not effected a complete cure,
Henley enjoyed a relatively active life for nearly thirty years after
his discharge.
After his recovery, Henley began by earning his living as a journalist
and publisher. For a short period in 1877–78, Henley was hired to
edit The London, "a society paper," and "a journal of a type more
usual in Paris than London, written for the sake of its contributors
rather than of the public." In addition to his inviting its
articles and editing all content, Henley anonymously contributed tens
of poems to the journal, some of which have been termed "brilliant"
(later published in a compilation from Gleeson White, see
In 1889 Henley became editor of the Scots Observer, an Edinburgh
journal of the arts and current events. After its headquarters were
transferred to London in 1891, it became the National Observer and
remained under Henley's editorship until 1893. The paper had almost as
many writers as readers, said Henley, and its fame was confined mainly
to the literary class, but it was a lively and influential contributor
to the literary life of its era. Henley had an editor's gift for
identifying new talent, and "the men of the Scots Observer," said
Henley affectionately, usually justified his support. Charles Whibley
was Henley's friend and helped him edit the Ana
Siken.[page needed] The journal's outlook was conservative and
often sympathetic to the growing imperialism of its time. Among other
services to literature it published Rudyard Kipling's Barrack-Room
Henley married Hannah (Anna) Johnson Boyle (1855–1925) on 22 January
1878. She was the youngest daughter of Edward Boyle, a mechanical
engineer from Edinburgh, and his wife, Mary Ann née
Mackie.(subscription or UK public library membership required)
The couple gave birth to a daughter,
This section needs expansion with: all remaining known edited works, and works of poetry and criticism. You can help by adding to it. (May 2015)
Edited volumes The following outlines editorial positions known to have been held by Henley:
The London, 1877–78, "a society paper" he edited for this short
period, and to which he contributed "a brilliant series of… poems"
which were only later attributed publicly to him in a published
Poetry The following outlines the appearances of Henley's poems:
In Ballades and Rondeaus, Chants Royal, Sestinas, Villanelles,
&c… (1888), compiled by Gleeson White, including 30 of
Henley's works, a "selection of poems in old French forms." The
poems were mostly produced by Henley while editing The London in
1877-1878, but also included a few works unpublished or from other
sources (Belgravia, Magazine of Art); appearing were a dozen of his
ballads, including "Of Dead Actors" and "Of the Nothingness of
Things," his rondels "Four Variations" and "The Ways of Death," ten of
his Sicilian octaves including "My Love to Me" and "If I were King," a
triolet by the same name, three villanelles including "Where's the Use
of Sighing," and a pair of burlesques.
Hawthorn and Lavender, with Other Verses (1901), a collection entirely
of Henley's, with the title major work, and 16 additional poems,
including a dedication to his wife (and epilogue, both penned in
Worthing), the collection is composed of 4 sections, the first, the
title piece "Hawthorn and Lavender" in 50 parts over 65 pages. The
second section is of 13 short poems, called "London Types," including
examples from "Bus-Driver" to "Beefeater" to "Barmaid." The third
section contains "Three Prologues" associated with theatrical works
that Henley supported, including "Beau Austin " (by Henley and Robert
Louis Stevenson, that played at
Discussion of works
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Henley's gravestone, Cockayne Hatley.
Arguably his best-remembered work is the poem "Invictus", written in
1875. It is said that this was written as a demonstration of his
resilience following the amputation of his foot due to tubercular
infection. This passionate and defiant poem should be compared with
his beautiful and contemplative acceptance of death and dying in the
poem "Margaritae Sorori". The poems of In Hospital are also noteworthy
as some of the earliest free verse written in England. With John
Stephen Farmer, Henley edited a seven volume dictionary of Slang and
its analogues which inspired his two translations into thieves' slang
of ballades by François Villon.
In 1890, Henley published Views and Reviews, a volume of notable
criticisms, which he described as "less a book than a mosaic of scraps
and shreds recovered from the shot rubbish of some fourteen years of
journalism". The criticisms, covering a wide range of authors (all
English or French save
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What have I done for you, England, my England? What is there I would not do, England my own?
The same poem and its sentiments have since been parodied by those
unhappy with the jingoism they feel it expresses or the propagandistic
use to which it was put. Such phrases appeared in
"England, My England", a short story by D. H. Lawrence,[citation
needed] and also in
England, Their England the novel by A. G.
Macdonell. It is also referred to in Alan Bennett's
satirical play Habeas Corpus (1973).
In popular culture
Carol Rumens, 2010, "Poem of the week: Waiting by W.E. Henley," The
Guardian (online), January 11, 2010, see , accessed 9 May 2015.
[Quote: "Henley's 'Waiting,' from his 'In Hospital' sequence of poems
far outshines his better known 'Invictus.'"]
Andrzej Diniejko, 2011, "William Ernest Henley: A Biographical
Sketch," at Victorian Web (online), updated July 19, 2011, see ,
accessed 9 May 2015.
Jerome Hamilton Buckley, 1945, William Ernest Henley: A Study in the
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Henley, William Ernest". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. References and notes
^ a b c d e James, William Price. Encyclopædia Britannica 11th ed. (Hugh Chisholm & Walter Alison Phillips, Eds.), Vol. 13 Slice 3. p. 271. Retrieved 8 May 2015. ^ a b c d e f g h Diniejko, Andrzej (19 July 2011). "William Ernest Henley: A Biographical Sketch". The Victorian Web. Retrieved 9 November 2016. ^ a b c John Connell, 1949, W. E. Henley, London:Constable, page numbers as indicated. ^ a b c Mehew, Ernest. "William Ernest Henley, (1849–1903)," in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography [2004 Ed.], Oxford, UK". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. Retrieved 8 May 2015. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.) ^ Connell, op. cit., dates this as 1865, but Mehew, op. cit. suggests 1868–69, in the period when Henley was being treated in St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London. ^ "Books by Henley, William Ernest (sorted by popularity)". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 9 May 2015. ^ a b c d e White, Gleeson (1888). "Ballades and Rondeaus, Chants Royal, Sestinas, Villanelles, &c.: Selected with Chapter on the Various Forms (William Sharp, Gen. Series Ed.)". pp. xix, 16–22, 77–82, 139–141, 169–173, 221, 251–253, 288–290. Retrieved 8 May 2015. ^ Atkinson, Damian, ed. (2013). The Letters of William Ernest Henley to Charles Whibley, 1888-1903. 1 & 2. Edwin Mellen Press. ISBN 0-7734-4365-7. [page needed] ^ a b Christopher Winn, 2012, "I Never Knew That About England," Londond, U.K.:Random House, ISBN 1448146062, pp. 3-4, see , accessed 9 May 2015. ^ a b "The History of Wendy". Archived from the original on 18 March 2009. Retrieved 25 July 2009. [better source needed] ^ http://courses.wcupa.edu/fletcher/henley/bio.htm ^ About the selection of so many of his works, Gleeson White, 1888, op cit., states: "In a society paper, The London, a brilliant series of these poems appeared during 1877-8. After a selection was made for this volume, it was discovered that they were all by one author, Mr. W. E. Henley, who most generously permitted the whole of those chosen to appear, and to be for the first time publicly attributed to him. The poems themselves need no apology, but in the face of so many from his pen, it is only right to explain the reason for the inclusion of so large a number." ^ a b c William Ernest Henley, 1901, Hawthorn and Lavender, with Other Verses, New York, NY:Harper and Bros. (orig, London, England:David Nutt at the Sign of the Phœnix in Long Acre), see  and , accessed 9 May 2015. ^ "Love blows as the wind blows". The LiederNet Archive. Retrieved 7 November 2016. ^ "Pro Rege Nostro By William Ernest Henley". bartleby.com. Retrieved 7 November 2016. ^ Boehmer, Elleke (2008). Nelson Mandela: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford, U.K.:OUP. p. 157. ISBN 0192803018. Retrieved 9 May 2015. Quote: In 'Invictus', taken on its own, Mandela clearly found his Victorian ethic of self-mastery given compelling expression within the frame of a controlled rhyme scheme supported by strong, monosyllabic nouns. It was only a small step from espousing this poem to assuming a Victorian persona, as he could do in letters to his children. In ways they predictably found alienating, he liked to exhort them to ever-greater effort, reiterating that ambition and drive were the only means of escaping an 'inferior position' in life. ^ Daniels, Eddie (1998). There and Back: Robben Island, 1964–1979. Belleville, South Africa:Mayibuye Books. p. 244. ISBN 1868083802.
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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 9863730 LCCN: n50037313 ISNI: 0000 0001 1592 9777 GND: 121438775 SUDOC: 028543831 BNF: cb12035863c (data) MusicBrainz: 154fc6d5-b5a9-4c54-8c10-25a119d15be7 NLA: 35245994 NKC: kup19980000037642 BNE: XX1232356 SN