W. E. Henley was born in Gloucester, England on August 23, 1849. He was (somewhat ironically) the son and sixth child of an unsuccessful Gloucester bookshop owner. His father believed in having an education so, although he was poor, managed to send little William to the Crypt Grammar School, though he was forced to leave some time later due to medical reasons: he was diagnosed with Tubercular Arthritis when he was 12 years old, and given another major blow when, at the young age of 16, was forced to have his left leg amputated below the knee.

In 1867 William's father passed, and so he was forced to abandon his schooling (and dreams of being a musician) to help administer the house with his mother. Though, by 1869, he became complete disenfranchised with his lot and move to London do seek better employment, which he eventually found when he started as a freelance journalist.

In 1872, he became quite ill and went to the Marget Royal and Sea Bathing Infirmary; he did not see much success there and soon thereafter moved to Edinburgh, Scotland. This is where he wrote one of his first famous works, the "In Hospital" poems.

While in Edinburgh, he married Anna Boyle and returned to London and took a position as editor of "The London". William and Anna had a daughter, Margaret, in 1878 who was sadly taken by cerebral meningitis in 1888.

Henley was named the editor of the Scots Observer in 1889 which was surrendered in 1894, and renamed The National Observer, whereupon he still pursued his editing career. For this he was awarded the Civil List Pension.

Tragically, in 1902, he fell from a railway car which caused a dormant tuberculosis germ in his system to re-ignite and, in July 1903, he died in peace with his wife by his side.

His most famous work is, in my oponion, his moving and inspiring poem "Invictus".

This was a nodeshell rescure but, **shh**, don't tell anyone!

Inspired by poet and headmaster of the Crypt School Thomas Edward Brown Henley became a prolific and courageously spirited writer. His most famous poems are England My England and the aforementioned Invictus which ends with the well know lines

I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

In addition to In Hospital (1903)Henley wrote a second book of poetry called A Book of Verse (1888), as well as a collection on essays and art Views and Reviews published around 1890. Henley collaborated with his friend Robert Louis Stevenson on four plays, and Stevenson modeled his character Long John Silver from Treasure Island after him. He also collaborated with J.S. Farmer on the Dictionary of Slang and It's Analogues (1894-1904) and brought to the forefront the works of Rudyard Kipling and Irish poet W. B. Yeats. making his living primarily as an editor for the Scots Observer (1889) of Edinburgh the journal was moved to London in 1891 and became the the successful National Observer Politically conservative it published in the libertarian vein when it came to literary works including many early works by the likes of Thomas Hardy, George Bernard Shaw, James Barrie, and H.G. Wells.

Some of the biographical information was gathered at
Britanica. com:
http://www.britannica.com/

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