Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease which is caused by a bacterial infection which is generally spread through the air. Henley was diagnosed with tuberculosis when he was only 12 years-old. [4], In 1902, Henley fell from a railway carriage. In 1867, Henley passed the Oxford Local Schools Examination and set off to London to establish himself as a journalist. Henley’s next editing position was with the Edinburgh journal, Scots Observer. Death of William Ernest Henley. [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". 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. His best-known poem, Invictus, was published in 1875 and was among his hospital poems. Henley was a great poet, critic as well as an editor and none of the success in his life came easy. 'Invictus': 'Invictus' was written by the English poet William Ernest Henley in 1875. Henley was a writer during the Victorian era who faced a good deal of challenges in his life. suggests 1868–69, in the period when Henley was being treated in. 'McVeigh's Final Statement', 'The Guardian', 11 June 2001. )", 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. About William Ernest Henley. He was the first of six children by Mary Morgan and William Henley. 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. "Some Memories and Impressions – William Ernest Henley". 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. 'When poems of resistance get twisted for terrorism' 'The Atlantic', 16 March 2019. Tuberculosis had affected him significantly that to save his life, the amputation of the other leg became necessary. [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. Difficult path of life was reflected in his works, that is why they excite and inspire the reader. Between 1861 and 1867, Henley was a pupil at the Crypt Grammar School. 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. 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. From there he sent to the Cornhill Magazine where he wrote poems in irregular rhythms, describing with poignant force his experiences in hospital. They had a daughter, Margaret Henley, who had frail health and speech difficulty. [4], Throughout his life, the contrast between Henley's physical appearance and his mental and creative capacities struck acquaintances in completely opposite, but equally forceful ways. William Ernest Henley was born in Gloucester on 23 August 1849, the eldest of six children. William Ernest Henley (1849-1903) William Henley was a British poet, editor and critic. 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. 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 (23 August 1849 – 11 July 1903) was an English poet, writer, critic and editor in late Victorian England. 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. Between 1861 and 1867, Henley was a pupil 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. Though he wrote several books of poetry, Henley is remembered most often for his 1875 poem "Invictus". William Ernest Henley was born on August 23, 1849,in Gloucester, England. [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. He wrote several poems, collected in “In Hospital.” During this period, he became friends with Robert Louis Stevenson, who based some part of the character Long John Silver, in his work Treasure Island on Henley. [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. 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. William Ernest Henley(1849 - 1902) William Ernest Henley (August 23, 1849 - July 11, 1903) was a British poet, critic and editor. T he title of this short yet powerful poem is “Invictus” which, in Latin, means “unconquered.” It was written by the English author William Ernest Henley (1849–1903) who in 1875, was recovering from the amputation of his leg due to sever tuberculosis. 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. 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. Henley contracted tuberculosis of the bone at age 12, causing the amputation of his left leg below the knee in 1869. William Ernest Henley, British poet, critic, and editor who in his journals introduced the early work of many of the great English writers of the 1890s. [3]:31 Nevertheless, Henley was disappointed in the school itself, considered an inferior sister to the Cathedral School, and wrote about its shortcomings in a 1900 article in the Pall Mall magazine. 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]. 1849. The headmaster of the school, Thomas Edward Brown, discovered the great potential in Henley, leading to a lifelong friendship between the two. Henley's 1887 Villon's Straight Tip to All Cross Coves (a free translation of Francoise Villon's Tout aux tavernes et aux filles[44]) was recited by Ricky Jay as part of his solo show, Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants (1994). In the poem Invictus by William Ernest Henley the writer has given us a glimpse of the theme in the title itself. [38] Henley's poem, "Pro Rege Nostro", became popular during the First World War as a piece of patriotic verse, containing the following refrain, What have I done for you, England, my England? ‎William Ernest Henley was born in Gloucester on 23 August 1849, the eldest of six children. After its headquarters were transferred to London in 1891, it became the National Observer and remained under Henley's editorship until 1893. "[2] Henley published many poems in different collections including In Hospital (written between 1873 and 1875) and A Book of Verses, published in 1891. He was cremated and his ashes … With four stanzas and sixteen lines, each containing eight syllables, the poem has a rather uncomplicated structure. cit. This degree of illness and surgery in the 1800’s very often lead to fatal outcomes. William Ernest Henley died of tuberculosis in 1903 at the age of 53 at his home in Woking, and his ashes were interred in his daughter's grave in the churchyard at Cockayne Hatley in Bedfordshire. [3]:35[6][7] The early years of Henley's life were punctuated by periods of extreme pain due to the draining of his tuberculosis abscesses. William Ernest Henley is best remembered for his short poem ‘Invictus’. William Ernest Henley was an English poet, editor, and critic of England’s late Victorian era. Between 1861 and 1867, Henley was a pupil at the Crypt Grammar School. He worked as an editor for the society paper, The London, from 1877 to 78. It took the pioneering skills of surgeon Joseph Lister of the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh to avert the second amputation. "[13], Henley married Hannah (Anna) Johnson Boyle (1855–1925) on 22 January 1878. Tuberculosis took one of his feet as a child, and almost claimed another leg as a young adult. And his children in the workhouse [20][21] He is remembered most for his 1875 poem "Invictus", one of his "hospital poems" that were composed during his isolation as a consequence of early, life-threatening battles with tuberculosis; this set of works, one of several types and themes he engaged during his career, are said to have developed the artistic motif of the "poet as a patient" and to have anticipated modern poetry "not only in form, as experiments in free verse containing abrasive narrative shifts and internal monologue, but also in subject matter."[2]. He received education at the Crypt School in Gloucester from 1861 to 1867. 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. 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. 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. William Ernest Henley was born in Gloucester on 23 August 1849, the eldest of six children. [2] Though Brown's tenure was relatively brief (c. 1857–1863), he was a "revelation" to Henley because the poet was "a man of genius—the first I'd ever seen". [6][24] At the time of his death Henley's personal wealth was valued at £840. The poem is most known for its themes of will-power and strength in the face of adversity, much of which is drawn from the horrible fate assigned to many amputees of the day— gangrene and death. William Ernest Henley’s Invictus is a poem that conveys the idea of dealing with struggles head-on. Draft #2 "Invictus" is a poem filled with the interpretations and vision of the author. [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. [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. Serving under Henley as his assistant editor, "right-hand-man", and close friend was Charles Whibley. "[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. 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. [2] As an editor of a series of literary magazines and journals, Henley was empowered to choose each issue's contributors, as well as to offer his own essays, criticism, and poetic works; like Johnson, he said to have "exerted a considerable influence on the literary culture of his time. [16][17], After Robert Louis Stevenson received a letter from Henley labelled "Private and Confidential" and dated 9 March 1888, in which the latter accused Stevenson's new wife Fanny of plagiarizing his cousin Katherine de Mattos' writing in the story "The Nixie," the two men ended their friendship, though a correspondence of sorts did resume later after their mutual friends intervened. 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 was the oldest of six children, five sons and a daughter; his father died in 1868. 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… His poetry had even made its way to the United States, inspiring several different contributors from across the country to pen articles about him. In part, the poem reads: Lack of work and lack of victuals, "[10], Frequent illness often kept Henley from school, although the misfortunes of his father's business may also have contributed. 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. [27] After Henley's death in 1903 an acquaintance in Boston wrote a piece about her impression of Henley, saying of him, "There was in him something more than the patient resignation of the religious sufferer, who had bowed himself to the uses of adversity. 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. [5], 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. [15], Margaret was a sickly child, and became immortalized by J. M. Barrie in his children's classic, Peter Pan. He continued to work with the journal after it was moved to London in 1891 to become National Observer. Brown, Henley contracted a tubercular disease that later necessitated the amputation William Ernest Henley was born on August 23, 1849, in Gloucester, England. 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. 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." He was on the verge of losing his right leg until he became a patient of the immortal surgeon Joseph Lister. 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". William Ernest Henley was born on 23rd August 1849, in Gloucester, England. He left his position in 1893. This great work was published in 1888. 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). William Ernest Henley was born on 23 August 1849 in Gloucester. "[9] Stevenson's stepson, Lloyd Osbourne, described Henley as "... a great, glowing, massive-shouldered fellow with a big red beard and a crutch; jovial, astoundingly clever, and with a laugh that rolled like music; he had an unimaginable fire and vitality; he swept one off one's feet. After reading this poem over and over again you can tell the speaker is going through some sort of pain. [3]:35 His work over the next eight years was interrupted by long stays in hospitals, because his right foot had also become diseased. 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. Having lost one leg at 16 to arthritic tuberculosis, Henley was determined to try anything to save his other leg. Son of a Gloucester bookseller and a pupil of the poet T.E. [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. [30][31], George Butterworth set four of Henley's poems to music in his 1912 song cycle Love Blows As the Wind Blows. William Ernest Henley had the opportunity to publish his poems in the magazines his edited. GENRE The school was a poor relation of the Cathedral School, and Henley indicated its When William was sixteen years old, he had issues with his leg due to tuberculosis. St. Andrews University, St. Andrews, Scotland. [23] The journal's outlook was conservative and often sympathetic to the growing imperialism of its time. Later, Alfred Nutt published these and others in his A Book of Verse. Henley did other notable work for various publishers: the, In 1892, Henley published a second volume of poetry, named after the first poem, "The Song of the Sword" but later re-titled. The poem was set to music and release with a video in July 2020 by the folk band Stick in the Wheel. The struggle, in this situation, is a reference to Henley’s bout of tuberculosis of the bone, which led to his leg being amputated. "[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. 'The Great Replacement', Section IV, 'In Conclusion', P.70, by Brenton Tarrant, issued 15 March 2019. Henley gained a reputation as an astute poet in the late Victorian era. Ultimately, he needed a below knee amputation of the left lower limb to treat the disease invading his bones (see Operation). Bouncing back to live, William Ernest Henley began working as a journalist and publisher. The struggle, in this situation, is a reference to Henley’s bout of tuberculosis of the bone, which led to his leg being amputated. He had different surgical procedures to get better. [6][14] In the 1891 Scotland Census, William and Anna are recorded as living with their two-year-old daughter, Margaret Emma Henley (b. While recovering from surgery in an Edinburgh infirmary, Henley began a friendship with author Robert Louis Stevenson. Nelson Mandela recited the poem "Invictus" to other prisoners incarcerated alongside him at Robben Island, some believe because it expressed in its message of self-mastery Mandela's own Victorian ethic. William Ernest Henley (23 August 1849 – 11 July 1903) was an English poet, critic and editor, best remembered for his 1875 poem "Invictus". Out of the night that covers me, Black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be. [41][42] This historical event was captured in fictional form in the Clint Eastwood film Invictus (2009), wherein the poem is referenced several times. The Grave of William Ernest Henley and his daughter – Margaret Emma. Yet, Henley survived and thrived against adversity and remained ‘captain of his soul’. He left London and sought treatment in Edinburgh from Joseph Lister, whose theories of antiseptic surgery were still not universally accepted. He wrote several books of poetry but he is most famous for his 1875 poem ‘Invictus’. William Ernest Henley did a great job of giving details and thoughts, so the reader could imagine what he was going through. Henley was born in Gloucester and educated at the Crypt Grammar School. During his lifetime Henley had become fairly well known as a poet. His influence in the artistic circle became even higher during his career as editor of journals and magazines. He passed the Oxford Local Schools in 1867. In 1867, Henley passed the Oxford Local Schools Examination. 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. His remains were cremated and the ashes buried in his daughter’s grave in the churchyard at Cockayne Hatley, Bedfordshire. 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. "Invictus" was written by William Ernest Henley in 1875, while he underwent medical treatment for tuberculosis of the bone. 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