Deaths

Published:  01:10 AM, 11 July 2019

William Ernest Henley

William Ernest Henley

William Ernest Henley was an influential English poet, critic and editor of the late Victorian era in England. Though he wrote several books of poetry, Henley is remembered most often for his 1875 poem "Invictus", a piece which recurs in popular awareness (e.g., see the 2009 Clint Eastwood film, Invictus). A fixture in 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). Henley died of tuberculosis in 1903 at the age of 53 at his home in Woking, Surrey; after cremation at the local crematorium his ashes were interred in his daughter's grave in the churchyard at Cockayne Hatley in Bedfordshire.

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