T. H. White
Terence Hanbury White (6 May 1906 – 17 January 1964), known as Tim, was an English author and poet best known for his sequence of Arthurian novels, The Once and Future King (The Sword in the Stone, 1938; The Queen of Air and Darkness; 1939; The Ill-Made Knight, 1940; The Candle in the Wind, 1958).
White lived to see his work adapted as the Broadway musical Camelot (1960) and the animated Disney film The Sword in the Stone (1963), both based on The Once and Future King. J. K. Rowling has said that T. H. White's writing strongly influenced the Harry Potter books.
White was born in Bombay, British India, to English parents. He had a discordant childhood, with an alcoholic father and an emotionally frigid mother. He went to Cheltenham College in Gloucestershire, a public school, and Queens' College, Cambridge. He became a teacher and taught in Buckinghamshire from 1930 to 1936. His autobiography, England Have My Bones, was published in 1936, and White devoted the remainder of his life to writing. In 1946, White settled in Alderney, third largest of the Channel Islands, where he lived for the rest of his life.
White died of heart failure on 17 January 1964 aboard ship in Piraeus (Athens, Greece), en route to Alderney from a lecture tour in the United States. He is buried in Athens.
White had a life-long affinity to spanking, which he believed was due to his childhood sufferings.
According to Sylvia Townsend Warner's 1967 biography, White was "a homosexual and a sado-masochist". Broadcaster Robert Robinson has published an account of a bizarre conversation with White, in which he claimed to be attracted to small girls. Robinson concluded that this was really a cover for homosexuality. Julie Andrews wrote in her autobiography, "I believe Tim may have been an unfulfilled homosexual, and he suffered a lot because of it."
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