A. C. Benson

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Arthur Christopher Benson (24 April, 186217 June, 1925) was one of six children of Edward White Benson, a late nineteenth-century Archbishop of Canterbury. An uncle of the family was philosopher Henry Sidgwick. The Benson family were exceptionally literate and accomplished, but their history was somewhat tragic. A son and daughter died young, and another daughter, as well as A C himself, suffered badly from a mental condition that was probably manic-depressive psychosis, which they had inherited from their father. None of the children ever married.

Despite his illness, A C was a distinguished academic and a most prolific author. He was associated with Eton College and Magdalene College of Cambridge University. His poems and volumes of essays, such as From a College Window, were famous in his day, and he left one of the longest diaries ever written, some four million words.

Today he is best remembered as the author of the words to one of Britain's best-loved patriotic songs, Land of Hope and Glory, and as a brother to novelist E.F. Benson.

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