I’ve read the great majority of G A Henty’s books. I gorged on them. They were on the internet! Better yet, they were free! Many late nights were spent reading one book after another. Beric the Briton, A Knight of the White Cross, In the Reign of Terror, For the Temple and Winning His Spurs to name just a few.
After a while, one books merges into another. The hero often begins his journey as a boy who is either fifteen or sixteen, he’s not particularly handsome but has an open, honest face. He is always courageous, good and honourable and has buckets – buckets! – of pluck.
Adventures take place between great patches of texts on the history of that time period. Who fought who etc. (I may or may not have developed the habit of skipping those sections and diving into the more exciting ones).
And though the books are often somewhat similar, I enjoyed the great majority of them. After all, I invested a good many hours in Henty’s works. My favourites of his books are often his most unusual ones, such as:
A Search for a Secret Vol 1 – 3: G A Henty writing a female character in first person? Count me in. Only … the story needed more Percy. Lots more Percy. And a longer ending because really, I wanted a bit more of a glimpse of the happy ending – I’d just read three books after all).
In the Reign of Terror: I can’t quite put my finger on the reason why this is one of my favourites of his books, it is more to the usual Henty fare than the others on this list. It’s full of the French Revolution! Danger! Plucky side characters! Harrowing escapes! Intrepid daring! (I think I’ve just described the Scarlet Pimpernel).
A Girl of the Commune: The hero is of the lazy genius ilk who falls in love with a girl who is of the Suffragettes-type ilk. She jilts him. He pulls his belt in and begins to become a Useful Member of Society. They meet again in Paris and are trapped in the city when the Paris Commune comes to power. However will they cope?
Rujub the Juggler: Alright, let’s have a hero with a weakness. Let’s have a hero who is frightened to death of gunfire. This is one of my favourite Henty books purely because the hero isn’t a Perfect Specimen of Manhood. However, I’m not fond of either mysticism or magic and unfortunately there is a little in this book, mostly to do with the title character.
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