Home  »  library  »  BIOS  »  Sir Walter Besant (1836–1901)

C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Sir Walter Besant (1836–1901)

Besant, Walter, Sir (be-sant’). An English novelist; born in Portsmouth, Aug. 14, 1836; died at Hampstead, June 9, 1901. After graduation, he went to Mauritius as professor in the Royal College, but returned to London, where he became secretary of the Palestine Exploration Fund. In 1871 he formed a literary partnership with James Rice, which continued until the death of the latter. They wrote many novels, some of which were dramatized. Among them are: ‘Ready Money Mortiboy’ (London, 1871); ‘The Golden Butterfly’ (1876); ‘The Seamy Side’; ‘The Chaplain of the Fleet’ (1881). Alone he wrote: ‘Studies in Early French Poetry’ (1868); ‘When George the Third was King’ (1872); ‘The French Humorists’ (1873); ‘All Sorts and Conditions of Men’ (1882), which led to the establishment of the People’s Palace in the East End of London; ‘All in a Garden Fair’ (1883); ‘Dorothy Forster’ (1884); ‘The World Went Very Well Then’ (1887); ‘Armorel of Lyonnesse’ (1890); ‘St. Katharine’s by the Tower’ (1891); ‘The Ivory Gate’ (1892); ‘Beyond the Dreams of Avarice’; ‘The Master Craftsman’; and others. He was knighted in 1896. (See Critical and Biographical Introduction).