English novelist Silas Kitto Hocking was born on March 24, 1850 in Cornwall, England. He is best known for his novel Her Benny (1879), which was a best-seller. His brother was Joseph Hocking, also a novelist and Methodist minister, and his sister, Salome, was also a novelist. As a youngster he read Sir Walter Scott. Although intended to follow his father into the tin business, he felt called to the Methodist ministry. He attended Owens College and the Crescent Range Theological College of Manchester. In 1870 he was ordained as a minister and he worked in different parts of England. He resigned in 1896 to devote his time to writing. Hocking wrote many novels aimed at children that emphasized instructional and informative qualities in literature. He wrote his first novel, Alec Green in 1878. It was, however, with his second novel that he won great fame; Her Benny (1879), a story of the street children of Liverpool. It sold well and Hocking become one of the most popular authors in England. In 1894 Hocking became editor of Family Circle and two years later helped establish Temple Magazine. His novel The Strange Adventures of Israel Pendry, an autobiographical of his Cornish youth was published in 1899. Other works include God's Outcast (1898) which reflects on the nature of guilt; and, To Pay the Price (1900), a morality story of theft and redemption. His autobiography My Book of Memory was published in 1923. In all he wrote fifty books. Hocking died on September 15, 1935 in Highgate, England, and was buried in St. Pancras and Islington Cemetery.
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