Basil King

'William Benjamin Basil King was born 26 February, 1859, in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. He had a stormy childhood and strict religious upbringing, alluded to in his The Conquest of Fear (1921), inspired by his fears of becoming blind. As an adolescent who had already for some years been losing his sight along with having thyroid gland problems, the young King was deemed not fit for work. He spent a lonely and melancholy autumn at Versailles in France, unoccupied and alone with his introspection and agonising over his fears of fate dealing him a bitter blow, a total loss of vision.In 1881 he graduated from the University of King's College in Nova Scotia and two years later married Esther Foote. 1884 saw him ordained as Anglican priest and he served as the rector of St Luke's Cathedral in Halifax. In 1892 he became the rector of Christ Church, Cambridge, Massachusetts, yet in 1900 was forced to resign as a result of further failing eyesight. He would devote the rest of his life to literature.A major turning point in King's life came from a teacher who spoke of the ingenuity and adaptability of the life-principle, which had somehow arrived on earth and for eons had continually met adversity and remained undefeated. King realised he was allowing his own wealth of ability to lie fallow. He rose to the challenge but still struggled with the seeming fate of Nature and his own untapped spiritual faith. He needed to heed his own advice: "Be bold-and mighty forces will come to your aid."'...
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