A. C. Benson

Most Popular

Birth Sign

Arthur Christopher Benson was a well-known English poet, essayist, and author. A number of his ghost stories have been published, as have writings by his legendary brothers, Edward Fredric Benson and Robert Hugh Benson, in the same genre. However, he is most remembered for writing the British patriotic hymn ‘Land of Hope and Glory.’ His father was the Archbishop of Canterbury, therefore he lived near a famous Cathedral. This may have highlighted the church impact in his life. A. C. Benson was a prominent professor who became the 28th Master of Magdalene College in Cambridge, despite being plagued by bouts of profound depression from boyhood to his latter years. ‘The Upton Letters’ and ‘From a College Window’ are two of his most well-known writings. He co-edited Queen Victoria’s letters, as he was also a noted biographer. A. C. Benson, on the other hand, is known for his diary entries, which he kept in over 180 notebooks. The author developed the Benson Medal to honor the most excellent works in fiction, poetry, history, and “belles-lettres” in Britain, where he was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Childhood and Adolescence

At Wellington College in Berkshire, Arthur Christopher Benson was born to Edward White Benson and Mary Sidgwick. He had five siblings, two of them died when he was young. At the time of his birth, his father was the headmaster of Wellington College, and he went on to become the Archbishop of Canterbury. From the age of ten to twenty-one, he resided in Lincoln and Truro, and his early years were heavily influenced by Christianity.

He was a distinguished academic who got a scholarship from Temple Grove School in East Sheen to attend Eton College in 1874. In 1881, he enrolled at King’s College, Cambridge. However, from an early age, he was plagued by debilitating bouts of despair.

Career of A. C. Benson

A. C. Benson returned to Eton as a teacher in 1885 after receiving a first in the Classical Tripos at Cambridge in 1884.
He was a historian, writer, author, and poet who finished his father’s two-decker biography, the Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1899. He worked as a schoolmaster until 1903, when he decided to leave Eton. He and Viscount Esher collaborated on the 1907 publication of Queen Victoria’s correspondences.

Benson became a fellow of Magdalene College in Cambridge in 1904 after being invited by his old friend and the then Master, S. A. Donaldson. In 1912, he was chosen president of Magdalene College, and in 1915, he was named ‘Master of Magdalene.’ He kept this position until his death, and during his tenure, he oversaw significant reforms at the college, which took off under his capable guidance.

His prodigious writing abilities were only surpassed by his outstanding leadership abilities. In 1915, he took over as Master of Magdalene College, which was not in the finest of shape. The author decided to create a ‘New Magdalene’ on his own. He pushed people to study subjects such as archaeology, music, and science, in addition to history and English, and he was well-known for his energetic teaching methods. As a pleasant and empathetic teacher, he was well-known among the young undergraduates.

Major Projects of A. C. Benson

Poems and essays by this remarkable poet, such as “The Upton Letters” and “From a College Window,” bear testament to his creative writing abilities and were well-received in his day. From 1897 until his death in 1925, he had the astonishing habit of writing extensive diary entries. It’s worth noting that his diary took up around 180 notebooks. A portion of these journals, which provide insight into Benson’s life and times, has been released.
Elgar composed the famous patriotic hymn ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ as King Edward VII’s coronation ode, and the poet is still recognized for it. It was performed at the Royal Albert Hall on every closing night of the London Proms until 2001.

Achievements & Awards

The author-biographer was named a commander of the Royal Victorian Order after editing Queen Victoria’s correspondence in three volumes in 1903.

Personal History and Legacy

This great writer never married and lived his entire life as a bachelor. The Benson Medal was established in 1916 by the author, who was also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, to be awarded by the Royal Society of Literature in the United Kingdom. It is given to writers who produce outstanding works in poetry, history, fiction, and “beaux-lettres,” even if they are written in other languages. The poet-biographer died in Magdalene College after a heart attack and was buried in Cambridge.

Estimated Net Worth

The estimated net worth of A. C. Benson is not available


Margaret Benson, the famed Egyptologist, was the brother of this author-poet. This biographer-essayist used his vast journals to express his outstanding writing talent, producing over four million words. His diaries are said to be among the world’s longest.