Henry Brooks lived in Natal for many years. While residing at Wartburg he wrote a book about the colony entitled Natal: A history and description of the colony, including its natural features, productions, industrial condition and prospects (London 1876). The book was edited for publication by Robert J. Mann*, formerly superintendent of education of Natal, who was living in England at the time. It included notes on the geographical position and character of the colony; its geology (pp. 25-58); climate, including monthly rainfall, monthly mean temperature and mean atmospheric pressure for the period 1858-1867 (pp. 59-105); wild animals (pp. 106-165); indigenous vegetable products, including a list of 120 fern species (pp. 166-190); early and recent history; and the rise of Zulu power. It was illustrated with coloured lithographs of flowers and shrubs based on the author's own paintings, which show him to have been a competent naturalist and artist. It also included a map of the colony and a chart of Durban harbour and surroundings. A second edition, with Brooks and R.J. Mann as authors, was published in 1895.
Brooks also published an article, "A world of wonder, or, a visit to the planet Venus" in the Natal Magazine in 1880.