Smart, Henry Hawley (DNB00)

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SMART, HENRY HAWLEY (1833–1893), novelist, son of Major George Smart, of an old Kentish family, by Katherine, daughter of Sir Joseph Henry Hawley [q. v.], the well-known sportsman, was born at Dover on 3 June 1833. His grandfather, Colonel Henry Smart, had been governor of Dover Castle early in the century. After education by a private tutor, he received a commission from Lord Raglan, and was gazetted ensign in the 1st regiment of foot (royal Scots) on 20 Oct. 1849, being promoted lieutenant on 6 July 1852, and captain on 15 May 1855. He served through the Crimean war, saw the fall of Sebastapol (medal and clasp and Turkish medal), returned to England in 1856, and sailed next year for India, where he served during the mutiny. In 1858 he exchanged into the 17th (Leicestershire) regiment, and went out to Canada. He left Quebec in 1864, sold out of the army, and, after experiencing some losses on the turf, devoted himself to novel-writing as a profession. His models were Lever and Whyte-Melville, and his first novel, ‘Breezie Langton: a Story of Fifty-two to Fifty-five’ (London, 1869, several editions), gave a promise of surpassing them which was not altogether fulfilled. Thenceforth he produced with great regularity two or even more novels a year, including ‘Bitter is the Rind,’ 1870; ‘A Race for a Wife,’ 1870; ‘Cecile, or Modern Idolaters,’ 1871; ‘False Cards,’ 1873; ‘Broken Bonds,’ 1874; ‘Two Kisses,’ 1875; ‘Courtship in 1720, in 1860,’ 1876; ‘Bound to Win,’ 1877; ‘Play or Pay,’ 1878; ‘Sunshine and Snow,’ 1878; ‘Social Sinners,’ 1880; ‘Belles and Ringers,’ 1880; ‘The Great Tontine,’ 1881; ‘At Fault,’ 1883; ‘Hard Lines,’ 1883; ‘From Post to Finish,’ 1884; ‘Salvage,’ 1884; ‘Tie and Trick,’ 1885; ‘Lightly Lost,’ 1885; ‘Struck Down,’ 1886; ‘Plucked: a Tale of a Trap,’ 1886; ‘Bad to Beat,’ 1886; ‘The Outsider,’ 1886; ‘A False Start,’ 1887; ‘Cleverly Won: a Romance of the Grand National,’ 1887; ‘The Pride of the Paddock,’ 1888; ‘The Master of Rathkelly,’ 1888; ‘Saddle and Sabre,’ 1888; ‘The Last Coup,’ 1889; ‘Long Odds,’ 1889; ‘A Black Business,’ 1890; ‘Thrice Past the Post,’ 1891; ‘Beatrice and Benedick,’ 1891; ‘The Plunger,’ 1891; ‘A Member of Tattersall's,’ 1892; ‘Struck Down,’ 1893; ‘Vanity's Daughter,’ 1893; ‘A Racing Rubber’ (posthumous), 1895. The plots are sometimes weak and the dialogue shallow, but there are force and truth in the racing and hunting sketches, while the military incidents are often graphically drawn from the writer's own experience. Smart died at Budleigh Salterton in Devonshire on 8 Jan. 1893, and was buried in Budleigh churchyard. He married, in 1883, Alice Ellen, daughter of John Smart, esq., of Budleigh Salterton, who survives him.

[Times, 10 Jan. 1893; Illustrated London News, 14 Jan. (with portrait); Athenæum, 14 Jan. 1893; Saturday Review, 20 Feb. 1869; Our Celebrities, No. 38, August 1891; Army Lists, 1850–64.]

T. S.