Although William Ernest Henley (1849-1903) was affected by tuberculosis at an early age, he led an active life. He has published various volumes of books and poems that reflect the pain as a tuberculosis patient during his stays at the infirmary for several years. He was able to survive for 30 years and worked as an editor, critic and poet. During Henley’s adult life, he often received criticism from others who don’t understand his perspective of poem, drama and so on. One of his famous poems that were well-known by everyone was called, “Invictus.” In the poem “Invictus”, it sends out a powerful message to the audiences with the help from figurative language.
William Ernest Henley was born on August 23, 1849 in Gloucester, England. He was the eldest of five sons and one daughter. His father, William Henley, was a poor bookseller and stationer. In 1868 his father died and left his family living in debt. His mother, Mary Morgan, descended from poet and critic Joseph Wharton. Between 1861 and 1867, he was educated at Crypt Grammar School. Then, in 1867, he passed the exam. However, he didn’t go to higher institution due to his illness and lack of financial supports. Then he moved to London and worked as a journalist.
At the age of 12, he suffered from tuberculosis of the bone that resulted in the amputation of his left leg below the knee. Then in 1873, his right leg was also diagnosis by tuberculosis. He was lucky to be under care by Dr. Lister at Edinburgh Infirmary. He stayed at the hospital for almost two years and he used that time to write and publish the poems In Hospital that reflected his traumatic experiences as a patient. In 1878, he married Anna Boyle, youngest daughter of a mechanical engineer father, and had a daughter named Margaret Henley who suffered from cerebral meningitis. She died at the age of five in 1894 and was immortalized by J. M. Barrie’s children classic novel, Peter Pan.
Henley became a successful editor, critic and poet after he moved to London. He became an editor of the weekly paper London in 1877 to1878. Then in 1882 to 1889, he became an editor of Magazine of Art, Scots Observer which later changes the name to National Observer in 1891. Later on, he wrote critical material for Athenaeum, St. James Gazette, Saturday Review and Vanity Fair. He published a series of traumatic experiences collection called A Book of Verses in 1888. He was famous for his poem, Invictus. Then, in 1892, he published a volume of The Song of the Sword and Other Verses, London Voluntaries in 1893, and For England Sake: Verses and Song in Time of War in 1900 and so on. Beside published his own works, he also published several works of well-known writers such as Stevenson, J. M. Barrie, Thomas Hardy, Rudyard Kipling, H. G. Wells, and William Butler Yeats. Unfortunately, he died in 1903 at the age of 53 because of tuberculosis.
At the age of 12, Henley has suffered from tuberculosis of the bone on his legs....