Though Arthur Benson was a prolific, essayist, poet and author of over sixty books he’s most famous for writing just a few lines that became the patriotic song Land Of Hope And Glory.
He was one of six children born into an exceptionally literate family but two died young and Arthur and a sister suffered badly from manic-depression (from their father’s side.) None of the children ever married.
His blue plaque is opposite the main entrance to Eton College and Arthur went here before leaving for Cambridge University. Oddly he returned to both – as headmaster at Eton for 18 years and as a don for 10 years at Magdalene College, Cambridge.
Much was probably expected of the family and two brothers were novelists (E. F. Benson and Robert Hugh Benson) and his sister Margaret an Egyptologist.
He died at 63 and lies in Ascension Parish Burial Ground in Cambridge where some of the finest scholarly brains are buried.
At which window did he disappear into his capacious brain to write all those books?
Across the road is Eton College…
Nearby is Windsor…