His influence in the artistic circle became even higher during his career as editor of journals and magazines. Soon after passing the examination, Henley moved to London and attempted to establish himself as a journalist. William Ernest Henley (1849-1903) William Henley was a British poet, editor and critic. A fixture in London literary circles, the one-legged Henley was also the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson's character Long John Silver (Treasure Island, 1883), while his young daughter Margaret inspired J. M. Barrie's choice of the name Wendy for the heroine of his play Peter Pan (1904). [16][17] Unable to speak clearly, young Margaret had called her friend Barrie her "fwendy-wendy", resulting in the use of the name "Wendy" for a feminine character in the book. Latin for "invincible", the poem "Invictus" is a deeply descriptive and motivational work filled with vivid imagery. [18] Margaret did not survive long enough to read the book; she died in 1894 at the age of five and was buried at the country estate of her father's friend, Harry Cockayne Cust, in Cockayne Hatley, Bedfordshire. The speaker does not allow the possibility of … Invictus by William Ernest Henley Updated: Mar 23. Henley wrote this poem from his bed after having his leg amputated below the knee- a life saving response to tuberculosis of the bone. William Ernest Henley (23 August 1849 – 11 July 1903) was an English poet, critic and editor, best remembered for his 1875 poem "Invictus". Made the world so black a riddle 1888), in Edinburgh. With four stanzas and sixteen lines, each containing eight syllables, the poem has a rather uncomplicated structure. )", http://courses.wcupa.edu/fletcher/henley/bio.htm, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/jun/11/mcveigh.usa1, https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2019/03/new-zealand-shooting-manifesto-poems-dylan-thomas/585079/, "Villon's Straight Tip To All Cross Coves (Canting Songs)", "Stick in the Wheel share video for new single Villon Song", Poetry Archive: 137 poems of William Ernest Henley, William Ernest Henley: Profile and Poems at Poets.org, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=William_Ernest_Henley&oldid=999720077, People educated at The Crypt School, Gloucester, Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the ODNB, Articles lacking reliable references from May 2015, Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica with Wikisource reference, Wikipedia articles incorporating text from the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz identifiers, Wikipedia articles with PLWABN identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with Trove identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. [41][42] This historical event was captured in fictional form in the Clint Eastwood film Invictus (2009), wherein the poem is referenced several times. Brown, Henley contracted a tubercular disease that later necessitated the amputation Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease which is caused by a bacterial infection which is generally spread through the air. [19], As Andrzej Diniejko notes, Henley and the "Henley Regatta" (the name by which his followers were humorously referred) "promoted realism and opposed Decadence" through their own works, and, in Henley's case, "through the works... he published in the journals he edited. After its headquarters were transferred to London in 1891, it became the National Observer and remained under Henley's editorship until 1893. Yet, Henley survived and thrived against adversity and remained ‘captain of his soul’. Literary Analysis Essay of William Ernest Henley ‘Invictus ... Invictus Analysis William Ernest Henley’s Invictus is a poem that conveys the idea of dealing with struggles head-on. Henley was a great poet, critic as well as an editor and none of the success in his life came easy. The loss of his daughter was a deeply traumatizing event in Henley's life but did not truly dampen his outlook on life as a whole. As early as at the age of 12 Henley was diagnosed with tuberculosis of the bone, which led to the amputation of his left leg below the knee a few years later. [4], Much later, in 1893, Henley also received an LLD degree from the University of St Andrews; however two years after that he failed to secure the position of Professor of English literature at the University of Edinburgh. Ultimately, he needed a below knee amputation of the left lower limb to treat the disease invading his bones (see Operation). Born in Stirling, she was the youngest daughter of Edward Boyle, a mechanical engineer from Edinburgh, and his wife, Mary Ann née Mackie. [11]:129 Henley spent three years in hospital (1873–75), during which he was visited by the authors Leslie Stephen and Robert Louis Stevenson and wrote and published the poems collected as In Hospital. [40] The poem is referenced in the title, "England, My England", a short story by D. H. Lawrence, and also in England, Their England, a satiric novel by A. G. Macdonell about 1920s English society. [23] The journal's outlook was conservative and often sympathetic to the growing imperialism of its time. In 1867, Henley passed the Oxford Local Schools Examination and set off to London to establish himself as a journalist. Though he wrote several books of poetry, Henley is remembered most often for his 1875 poem "Invictus". Recalling his old friend, Sidney Low commented, "... to me he was the startling image of Pan come to Earth and clothed—the great god Pan...with halting foot and flaming shaggy hair, and arms and shoulders huge and threatening, like those of some Faun or Satyr of the ancient woods, and the brow and eyes of the Olympians. Born on August 23, 1849, he is considered to have played an influential role in the literary circle of his time by introducing works of some of the 1890s great English writers in his journal. This accident caused his latent tuberculosis to flare up, and he died of it on 11 July 1903, at the age of 53, at his home in Woking, Surrey. "[13], Henley married Hannah (Anna) Johnson Boyle (1855–1925) on 22 January 1878. [2] In a letter to Henley after the publication of Treasure Island (1883), Stevenson wrote, "I will now make a confession: It was the sight of your maimed strength and masterfulness that begot Long John Silver ... the idea of the maimed man, ruling and dreaded by the sound, was entirely taken from you. In 1867, Henley passed the Oxford Local Schools Examination. Born in England at a time of reformation, this well-educated man from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland was brimming with ideas which he poured into his writings. Between 1861 and 1867, Henley was a pupil at the Crypt Grammar School. His best-known poem, Invictus, was published in 1875 and was among his hospital poems. William Ernest Henley did a great job of giving details and thoughts, so the reader could imagine what he was going through. Invictus was a poem, succinctly written by William Henley, an English Poet, in 1875. When he was recovering, he was moved to write some lines that became the Invictus poem. The Crypt School, Gloucester. Henley contracted tuberculosis of the bone at age 12, causing the am… However, Henley's younger brother Joseph recalled how after draining his joints the young Henley would "Hop about the room, laughing loudly and playing with zest to pretend he was beyond the reach of pain". During 1892, Henley also published three plays written with Stevenson: Andrzej Diniejko, 2011, "William Ernest Henley: A Biographical Sketch," at, This page was last edited on 11 January 2021, at 16:34. After successfully passing his exams, William Ernest Henley moved to London, where he sought to work as a journalist. 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 during WWI to inspire patriotism and sacrifice in the British public and young men heading off to war. 'The Great Replacement', Section IV, 'In Conclusion', P.70, by Brenton Tarrant, issued 15 March 2019. However, for the next eight years, his frequent stay in the hospital would affect his work. He had different surgical procedures to get better. Unfortunately, his career was frequently interrupted by long stays in hospital due to a diseased right foot which he refused to have amputated. When they came, and found, and saved him. From 1882 to 1886, he edited The Magazine of Art, through which he promoted works of Auguste Rodin and James McNeil Whistler. Deep in his nature lay an inner well of cheerfulness, and a spontaneous joy of living, that nothing could drain dry, though it dwindled sadly after the crowning affliction of his little daughter's death. Henley contracted tuberculosis of the bone at age 12, causing the amputation of his left leg below the knee in 1869. 1849. It was written by the great William Ernest Henley in 1875. Just one the adversities Henley faced was being on the sharp end of the surgeon’s knife. He continued to work with the journal after it was moved to London in 1891 to become National Observer. Henley gained a reputation as an astute poet in the late Victorian era. As we discovered in Invictus, William Ernest Henley’s life as a child and young man was ravaged by the disease John Bunyan called the ‘captain of all these men of Death‘. William Ernest Henley had the opportunity to publish his poems in the magazines his edited. It was also from this time that William suffered from tuberculosis of the bone that resulted in the amputation of his left leg below the… It was also from this time that William suffered from tuberculosis of the bone that resulted in the amputation of his left leg below the knee in 1868–69. He anonymously contributed several poems to the paper. The headmaster of the school, Thomas Edward Brown, discovered the great potential in Henley, leading to a lifelong friendship between the two. Henley is known for his poem “Invictus,” 1875, written to exhibit his strength, passion and fighting spirit after tuberculosis caused the amputation of his foot. [22] In his selection White included a considerable number of pieces from London, and only after he had completed the selection did he discover that the verses were all by one hand, that of Henley. [6][24] At the time of his death Henley's personal wealth was valued at £840. 'McVeigh's Final Statement', 'The Guardian', 11 June 2001. [3] After carrying on a lifelong friendship with his former headmaster, Henley penned an admiring obituary for Brown in the New Review (December 1897): "He was singularly kind to me at a moment when I needed kindness even more than I needed encouragement". Later, Alfred Nutt published these and others in his A Book of Verse. Invictus means unconquerable or undetected in Latin. Henley was born in Gloucester and was the oldest of a family of six children, five sons and a daughter. In 1889, Henley became the editor of the "Scots Observer" and two years later, the magazine moved to London, becoming the "National Observer," which Henley continued to edit until 1893. Moreover, I am quite out of sympathy with Henley's deification of brute strength and courage, things I wholly despise. While it has been observed that Henley's poetry "almost fell into undeserved oblivion,"[2] the appearance of "Invictus" as a continuing popular reference and the renewed availability of his work, through online databases and archives have meant that Henley's significant influence on culture and literary perspectives in the late-Victorian period is not forgotten. Henley died when he was 52 years old in the year 1903 due to tuberculosis. He was cremated and his ashes … Specifically the poem "Suicide" depicts not only the deepest depths of the human emotions, but also the horrid conditions of the working class Victorian poor in the U.K. As Henley observed firsthand, the stress of poverty and the vice of addiction pushed a man to the brink of human endurance. The school was a poor relation of the Cathedral School, and Henley indicated its [6][14] In the 1891 Scotland Census, William and Anna are recorded as living with their two-year-old daughter, Margaret Emma Henley (b. William Ernest Henley was an English poet, editor, and critic of England’s late Victorian era. He received education at the Crypt School in Gloucester from 1861 to 1867. He passed the Oxford Local Schools in 1867. [4], In 1889, Henley became editor of the Scots Observer, an Edinburgh journal of the arts and current events. August 23, Henley was diagnosed with tuberculosis when he was only 12 years-old. "[10], Frequent illness often kept Henley from school, although the misfortunes of his father's business may also have contributed. He received education at the Crypt School in Gloucester from 1861 to 1867. He was the first of six children by Mary Morgan and William Henley. Death of William Ernest Henley The writer died because of tuberculosis in Woking on July 11, 1903 at the age of 53. He was an English poet, writer, critic, and editor in the late Victorian period. [11]:135 This also marked the beginning of a fifteen-year friendship with Stevenson. Between 1861 and 1867, Henley was a pupil at the Crypt Grammar School. St. Andrews University, St. Andrews, Scotland. Joe Orton, English playwright of the 1960s, based the title and theme of his breakthrough play The Ruffian on the Stair, which was broadcast on BBC radio in 1964, on the opening lines of Henley's poem Madame Life's a Piece in Bloom: Madam Life's a piece in bloomDeath goes dogging everywhere:She's the tenant of the room,He's the ruffian on the stair. From the age of 12, Henley suffered from tuberculosis of the bone that resulted in the amputation of his left leg below the knee in 1868–69.Connell dates this as 1865, but Ernest Mehew William Ernest Henley, (1849–1903), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004–08, suggests 1868–69 while Henley was being treated in St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London According to Robert … ‎William Ernest Henley was born in Gloucester on 23 August 1849, the eldest of six children. [11]:129 Henley contested the diagnosis that a second amputation was the only means to save his life, seeking treatment from the pioneering late 19th-century surgeon Joseph Lister at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, commencing in August 1873. [15], Margaret was a sickly child, and became immortalized by J. M. Barrie in his children's classic, Peter Pan. [4], In 1902, Henley fell from a railway carriage. [1], Henley was born in Gloucester on 23 August 1849, to mother, Mary Morgan, a descendant of poet and critic Joseph Warton, and father, William, a bookseller and stationer. William Ernest Henley was born in Gloucester on 23 August 1849, the eldest of six children. He left his position in 1893. Serving under Henley as his assistant editor, "right-hand-man", and close friend was Charles Whibley. William Ernest Henley(1849 - 1902) William Ernest Henley (August 23, 1849 - July 11, 1903) was a British poet, critic and editor. William Ernest Henley was born on August 23, 1849, in Gloucester, England. In Chapter Two of her first volume of autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), Maya Angelou writes in passing that she "enjoyed and respected" Henley's works among others such as Poe's and Kipling's, but had no "loyal passion" for them. William Ernest Henley (23 August 1849 – 11 July 1903) was an English poet, writer, critic and editor in late Victorian England. From there he sent to the Cornhill Magazine where he wrote poems in irregular rhythms, describing with poignant force his experiences in hospital. A commission had recently attempted to revive the school by securing as headmaster the brilliant and academically distinguished Thomas Edward Brown (1830–1897). cit. She died at age 5. Henley did not fully recover of tuberculosis and died of it on July 11, 1903, at age 53. In the late 20th-early 21st Centuries, Henley's most well-known poem "Invictus" has been cited a number of times in post-event statements by Libertarian and Ethno-Nationalist revolutionaries who have engaged in violent politically motivated public acts, as an explanation/justification for their actions, including Timothy McVeigh, an American citizen who attacked the Government of the United States with a bombing in 1995,[29] and Brenton Tarrant, an Australian who committed a massacre at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on 15 March 2019. The poem is about showing undivided courage in the face of death and keeping the dignity against all the hardships in life. Tuberculosis took one of his feet as a child, and almost claimed another leg as a young adult. "[4] In addition to his inviting its articles and editing all content, Henley anonymously contributed tens of poems to the journal, some of which were described by contemporaries as "brilliant" (later published in a compilation by Gleeson White). The word invictus itself, is Latin for "unconquerable".This theme is carried on throughout the poem in stanza's, most obviously, "for my unconquerable soul." Tuberculosis had affected him significantly that to save his life, the amputation of the other leg became necessary. On January 22, 1878, William Ernest Henley married Hannah (Anna), Johnson Boyle. Originally the fourth part of a longer sequence published in Henley's collection In Hospital, this 16-line section has taken on a life of its own. "[2], For a short period in 1877 and 1878, Henley was hired to edit The London Magazine, "which was a society paper",[22] and "a journal of a type more usual in Paris than London, written for the sake of its contributors rather than of the public. "[12] After hearing of Henley's death on 13 July 1903, the author Wilfrid Scawen Blunt recorded his physical and ideological repugnance to the late poet and editor in his diary, "He has the bodily horror of the dwarf, with the dwarf's huge bust and head and shrunken nether limbs, and he has also the dwarf malignity of tongue and defiant attitude towards the world at large. The struggle, in this situation, is a reference to Henley’s bout of tuberculosis of the bone, which led to his leg being amputated. [3]:35 His work over the next eight years was interrupted by long stays in hospitals, because his right foot had also become diseased. The paper had almost as many writers as readers, as Henley said, 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. The struggle, in this situation, is a reference to Henley’s bout of tuberculosis of the bone, which led to his leg being amputated. "[28] Henley was known as a man of inner resolve and character that transferred into his works, but also made an impression on his peers and friends. In 1873, his other leg was also affected by tuberculosis, but thanks to the innovative treatment of Dr Joseph Lister, who used his new antiseptic surgical method at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, it was not amputated. About the selection of so many of his works, Gleeson White, 1888, op cit., states: "In a society paper, "William Ernest Henley: A Biographical Sketch", "Ballades and Rondeaus, Chants Royal, Sestinas, Villanelles, &c.: Selected with Chapter on the Various Forms (William Sharp, Gen. Series Ed. Bouncing back to live, William Ernest Henley began working as a journalist and publisher. His remains were cremated and the ashes buried in his daughter’s grave in the churchyard at Cockayne Hatley, Bedfordshire. His frail health frequently interrupted his education. After cremation at the local crematorium his ashes were interred in his daughter's grave in the churchyard at Cockayne Hatley in Bedfordshire. Henley was born in Gloucester and educated at the Crypt Grammar School. The headmaster of the school, Thomas Edward Brown, discovered the great potential in Henley, leading to a lifelong friendship between the two. In the following year, H. B. Donkin, in his volume Voluntaries For an East London Hospital (1887), included Henley's unrhymed rhythms recording the poet's memories of the old Edinburgh Infirmary. Low, Sidney. William Ernest Henley’s Invictus is a poem that conveys the idea of dealing with struggles head-on. The Grave of William Ernest Henley and his daughter – Margaret Emma. In that fictionalized account, the poem becomes a central inspirational gift from actor Morgan Freeman's Mandela to Matt Damon's Springbok rugby team captain Francois Pienaar, on the eve of the underdog Springboks' victory in the post-apartheid 1995 Rugby World Cup held in South Africa.[43]. William Ernest Henley was born in Gloucester on 23 August 1849, the eldest of six children. They had a daughter, Margaret Henley, who had frail health and speech difficulty. Knowing that this poem was written by Henley while he was in the hospital being treated for tuberculosis of the bone. He was the first of six children by Mary Morgan and William Henley. The sum total of Henley's professional and artistic efforts is said to have made him an influential voice in late Victorian England, perhaps with a role as central in his time as that of Samuel Johnson in the eighteenth century. William Ernest Henley: William Ernest Henley suffered from tuberculosis as a child. 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