Henry Salt Archive

Henry Salt (1853-1939) was the author of the Life of Henry David Thoreau, Animals Rights and A Plea for Vegetarianism which inspired Gandhi for follow a vegetarian diet.

Mr. H. S. Salt

Manchester Guardian, April 20, 1939

The death is announced of Mr. Henry Stephens Salt, the well-known author and reformer, at his home in Brighton at the age of 87. Mr. Salt was born in India, where his father, Colonel T. H. Salt, served in the Royal Bengal Artillery. He was educated at Eton and King’s College, Cambridge, where he won the Browne’s Medal for Greek epigram and, in 1875, a first-class degree in classics. He returned to Eton as assistant master, but left nine years later because he found himself out of sympathy with his colleagues. He had become, in his own words, a “faddist”—a crusader for prison reform, a freethinker, a vegetarian, and an opponent of flogging, blood sports, and vivisection,—and he devoted himself thereafter to literature and humanitarian causes.

In 1891 he founded the Humanitarian League, and he remained its honorary secretary until 1920. At one time he edited the “Humane Review,” and he wrote several books on his “fads.” Among his other publications were biographies and critical volumes on Tennyson, De Quincey, Thoreau, Richard Jefferies, James Thomson, and Shelley; two translations from the classics; two books on wild flowers; an autobiography called “Seventy Years Among Savages” and a book of reminiscences entitled “Company I Have Kept.” In this he recalled his long and close friendship with many of the great literary figures of his generation—Meredith, Hardy, Ruskin, Swinburne, W. H. Hudson, E. V. Lucas, and especially George Bernard Shaw, who was his lifelong companion and prolific correspondent.