George Manville Fenn (January 3, 1831, Pimlico - August 26, 1909, Isleworth) was a British writer.
He worked as a teacher in Lincolnshire, until he became printer, editor and publisher of various magazines. He had two sons and six daughters with his wife Susanna Leake, whom he had married in 1855.
He was editor and proprietor of Once a Week from 1873 until its demise in 1879 and then was entirely engaged in writing fiction. Most of his work consists of adventure stories for young readers, featuring Explorers, Smugglers, young Adventurers and Seamen. His adult novels offer critical social commentary on Victorian England, especially reconsidering economic questions.
G.A. Henty occupied so large a place in the hearts of boys that, when his active life all too soon came to a close, it seemed desirable that those readers whom he had entertained for so many years should have an opportunity of knowing something more of the man himself than was contained in his books. Every writer, consciously or unconsciously, reveals himself in his work, but nevertheless it cannot fail to be interesting to boys to read of the actual experiences of the sturdy war correspondent—those experiences which furnished him with many a vivid background for his romances. It was at once the fascination and the value of his tales that, while nominally fiction, they were built up on a solid substratum of fact. When the present writer, however, was asked to undertake this memoir of his old and valued friend, he was confronted with a grave difficulty. Of few men of George Henty’s eminence is less known about their private lives. A staunch and loyal friend, he yet strongly believed, to use the old Cockney phrase, in “keeping himself to himself.” His letters were never autobiographical, and about himself he was never very communicative. Little more than his vivid letters from foreign countries exist to give an insight into the man and his character.
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