Henley, William Ernest, 1849-1903

Alternative names
Birth 1849-08-23
Death 1903-07-11

Biographical notes:

William Ernest Henley was born in Gloucester, and sufferred from a painful condition in his joints; his left leg was amputated when he was eighteen, and the right leg was saved only through experimental treatments of carbolic acid. He was accepted to Oxford, but couldn't afford to attend, and he tried to earn a living as an author, writing poetry and drama with some success. As a poet, he is remembered for his experiments with blank verse; he also wrote countless magazine articles and essays. His main contribution to literature was as an editor and critic; he edited no fewer than six prestigious journals, encouraging authors by printing their works and writing influential reviews. He aided the careers and reputations of writers as diverse as Thomas Hardy, H.G. Wells, Rudyard Kipling, William Butler Yeats, Henry James, and J.M. Barrie.

From the description of William Ernest Henley letters and related materials, 1886-1902. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 70082111

English man of letters.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Bonallie Tower, Branherne Park, Bournemouth, to H[erbert] Beerbohm Tree, [18]85 Feb. 19. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270870999

English poet and editor.

From the description of Autograph letters signed, autograph correspondence cards signed, and telegrams (559) : various places, to Charles Whibley, 1888 Jan. 15-1903 June 23. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270880250

English poet and critic.

From the description of Autograph letters signed (2) : London, to W.A. Knight, 1893 Jan. 20-Feb. 13. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270475899

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Westminster, to the Marriott Watsons, 1893 Jan. 31. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270474160

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Edinburgh, to an unnamed bookseller, 1891 Apr. 3. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270467752

From the description of Autograph letters and cards signed (12) : London, etc., to Frederick George Kitton, 1902 Mar. 1-Dec. 27. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270474933

From the description of Autograph letters signed (3) : London and Edinburgh, to Alfred H. Miles, 1888 Oct. 5. and 1891 May 6 and [n.d.]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270476261

From the description of Autograph letters signed with initials (4) : London, to Arthur Morrison, 1895-96. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270476549

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Riffel Alp, to "My dear Dolly", 1886 Jul. 23. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 269606093

Epithet: poet and critic

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000977.0x0000ba


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  • English poetry--20th century
  • Editors--19th century--Correspondence
  • English poetry--19th century


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  • South Africa, Africa (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • Carlisle, Cumberland (as recorded)
  • Siena, Italy (as recorded)
  • Sudan, Africa (as recorded)
  • Christchurch, Hampshire (as recorded)
  • Shrewsbury, Shropshire (as recorded)
  • Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk (as recorded)
  • Ombersley, Worcestershire (as recorded)
  • Chester, Cheshire (as recorded)
  • Brenzett, Kent (as recorded)
  • Montgomeryshire, Wales (as recorded)