Besant, Walter, 1836-1901

Alternative names

Hide Profile

English novelist.

From the description of Note : to Wilson, 1891 March 6. (Cornell University Library). WorldCat record id: 63936605

From the description of Autograph clipped from a letter : [n.p., n.d.]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270621664

British author.

From the description of The luck of the "Susan Bell" / by Walter Besant. [ca. 1868-1901] (University of Arizona). WorldCat record id: 29305316

Walter Besant (1836-1901) was an English author and social critic. He was born in Portsea August 14, 1836, the fifth child of a family with six sons and four daughters. His parents were William Besant, a merchant, and Sarah Ediss Besant, the daughter of an architect. Besant spent three terms at King's College, London, and graduated from Christ's College, Cambridge, in 1859. After his graduation, Besant worked briefly but unsuccessfully as a journalist, then accepted a mathematics teaching position at Leamington College, followed by a senior professorship at Royal College on the island of Mauritius from 1861 to 1867. Besant returned to London to pursue his literary career, and published his first book, Studies in Early French Poetry, in 1868, followed by several articles on French literature and social topics. Encouraged by his success, Besant continued to write while he supported himself as secretary of the Palestine Exploration Fund, a position which he held until the huge success of All sorts and conditions of men established his literary career in 1882. A prolific writer, Besant published sometimes three or four novels a year, and his most successful collaborations were with James Rice, the editor of "Once a Week." From 1872 until Rice's death in 1882 the two published more than a dozen novels and collected editions of long stories that brought them commercial and critical acclaim. After Rice's death, Besant continued writing the East End working-class romances upon which his reputation was made. During the final period of his career, from 1887 until his death in 1901, the quality of Besant's novels suffered, but he continued to pursue his interests in various social reforms in both his fiction and nonfiction writing. One work in particular, Fifty Years Ago (A Picture of Society in this Country as it was when the Queen Ascended the Throne), was published in 1888 as an historical retrospective of the year Queen Victoria began her reign. Another work, The Queen's Reign and its Commemoration, was published in 1897, and echoes Besant's familiar themes of social reform and the vast improvements that had taken place since Queen Victoria ascended the throne in 1837. In 1895, Besant was knighted, largely due to his East End writings and his efforts on behalf of social reform.

From the description of Sir Walter Besant manuscript, 1895. (University of North Carolina at Greensboro, University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 427876724

English author.

From the description of Papers of Sir Walter Besant [manuscript], 1888-1922 bulk 1888-1901). (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 647830897

Sir Walter Besant was a popular and prolific English author and social activist. After a distinguished career at Cambridge, he tried several different careers before finding success as an author of essays and fiction. A long and successful collaboration with James Rice resulted in a dozen novels, and Besant also wrote successful novels and non-fiction on his own. He is perhaps best remembered for the East End novels, which raised awareness of living conditions among the poor. He also wrote biographies and history, and was working on an ambitious survey of London when he died.

From the description of Walter Besant letters, 1889-1892. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 62589818

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Black, William, 1841-1898. Letter to [Walter] Besant. Brighton, Eng. [1885?] June 21. University of Iowa Libraries
referencedIn Jessie, Lady Anderson: Letters of her Family and Friends, 1796-1954 Cambridge University Library, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives
referencedIn Autograph File, B, ca.1500-1976. Houghton Library.
referencedIn William Morris Colles Papers, 1888-1928. Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
creatorOf Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901. Autograph letters signed (45) : mainly Hampstead, to various recipients, 1879 Apr. 5-1901 Apr. 2. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901. Note : to Wilson, 1891 March 6. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Trent, William Peterfield, 1862-1939. Papers, ca.1800-1941. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901. To the third and fourth generation : manuscript, [ca. 1900] Harvard University, Houghton Library
creatorOf Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901. The upward pressure : a chapter in the history of the twentieth century : manuscript, [19--] Harvard University, Houghton Library
creatorOf Blackmore, R. D. (Richard Doddridge), 1825-1900. Letters of R.D. Blackmore [manuscript] 1884-86. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Dowson, Ernest Christopher, 1867-1900. Autograph letter signed : Woodford, to Arthur Moore, [1889 Dec. 29]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Hunt, William Holman, 1827-1910. Letters, 1852-1894. University of Iowa Libraries
creatorOf Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901. Letter to Horace Howard Furness, 1880. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901. Letter to James R. Osgood, 1888. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Riley, William Harrison, 1835-1907. William Harrison Riley papers, 1844-1899 (inclusive). Yale University Library
creatorOf Sir Walter Besant letter to Miss Haskett, 1893 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Haggard, H. Rider (Henry Rider), 1856-1925. Correspondence of H. Rider Haggard, 1878-1925. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn Donald Hyde and Mary Hyde Eccles Autograph Collection, 1505-1957 (inclusive), 1702-1854 (bulk). Houghton Library.
creatorOf Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901. Letter to Stephen Tucker. Pembridge Cresecent, Eng. 1879 Feb. 3. University of Iowa Libraries
creatorOf Gosse, Edmund William, 1849-1928. Letter to [Walter] Besant. London, Eng. 1888 Jun. 13. University of Iowa Libraries
referencedIn Thomas Raynesford Lounsbury papers, 1829-1915 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn English literature mss., 1851-1900 Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)
creatorOf Tuer, Andrew White, 1838-1900. Letters, 1879-1918. Indiana University
creatorOf Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901. Letter to Issac Tayler. Adelphi. 1854 Dec. 11. University of Iowa Libraries
referencedIn British authors collection, 1840-1953. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Wilkie Collins collection of papers, 1849-1890 The New York Public Library. Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature.
referencedIn Henry Oscar Houghton papers, 1773-1932 (inclusive) 1833-1895 (bulk). Houghton Library.
creatorOf Clodd, Edward, 1840-1930. Edward Clodd letters to Walter Besant, 1889-1899. Pennsylvania State University Libraries
creatorOf Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901. In Deacon's orders : manuscript, [ca. 1890] Harvard University, Houghton Library
creatorOf Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901. Walter Besant letters, 1889-1892. Pennsylvania State University Libraries
referencedIn Manuscript Albums, 1615 - 1959 Newcastle University: Special Collections
referencedIn A. P. Watt & Son, 1883-1917. Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
referencedIn Schaefler, Sam, 1920-,. Historical and Literary Letters and Documents, 1674-197-. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Swingle, John,. John Swingle collection of letters by writers of fiction set in California, 1862-1907. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Furniss, Grace Livingston. "A fleet wedding" [microform] : a romantic comedy in a prologue and three acts / by Grace Livingston Furniss. University of Missouri -- Columbia, MU Libraries; University of Missouri; MU; Ellis Library; University of Missouri Columbia
referencedIn Albert Stephens Borgman autograph collection, 1600-1950. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Harte, Bret, 1836-1902. Letter to Walter Besant. London, Eng. 1883 May 7. University of Iowa Libraries
referencedIn A. P. Watt and Son records, 1861-1971, 1880-1949 The New York Public Library. Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature.
referencedIn Correspondence, 1848-1937 Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University.
creatorOf Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901. Letter to Marcus A. Hamish[?]. London, Eng. [18--] University of Iowa Libraries
creatorOf Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901,. Autograph letter signed from Sir Walter Besant to Sydney Smith (?) [manuscript], 1887 October 31. Folger Shakespeare Library
referencedIn Sir Hall Caine Papers MS 10., 1882-1947 Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University, Houston, Texas.
creatorOf Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901. [London : pamphlet vol. of articles by Walter Besant and Eugene Lawrence.] HCL Technical Services, Harvard College Library
referencedIn Lounsbury, Thomas Raynesford, 1838-1915. Thomas Raynesford Lounsbury papers, 1829-1915 (inclusive), 1856-1915 (bulk). Yale University Library
creatorOf Lytton, Rosina Bulwer Lytton, Baroness, 1802-1882. Autograph letter signed : Taunton, to [Walter Besant and James Rice], 1872 Dec. 14. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901. Autograph clipped from a letter : [n.p., n.d.]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Bryce, James Bryce, Viscount, 1838-1922. Letter to [Walter] Besant. London, Eng. [19--] May 26. University of Iowa Libraries
creatorOf Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901. [Letter, 1893 Mar. 15: London, England to [?] [manuscript] / Walter Besant. San Diego State University Library, SDSU Library and Information Access
referencedIn Correspondence and compositions, 1859-1930. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Riley, William Harrison, 1835-1907. William Harrison Riley papers, 1844-1899 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn Swingle, John,. John Swingle collection of letters by writers of fiction set in California, 1862-1907. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901. Walter Besant collection, 1881-1892. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901. Letter to unidentified recipient, 1891 June14. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Collins, Wilkie, 1824-1889. Wilkie Collins collection of papers, 1849-1890. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Boucicault, Dionysius George, 1859-1929. Letters, 1902-03 and 1908 : to F.A. Besant Rice. University of Michigan
creatorOf Lytton, Victor Alexander George Robert Bulwer-Lytton, Earl of, 1876-1947. Letter to [Walter] Besant. [s.l.]. [18--] University of Iowa Libraries
creatorOf Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901. Letter to [?]. [Hampstead, Eng.]. 1885 Dec. 7. University of Iowa Libraries
referencedIn James Russell Lowell additional papers, 1736-1951. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901. Walter Besant papers, 1875-1900. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn James Russell Lowell papers, 1835-1919. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Blackmore, R. D. (Richard Doddridge), 1825-1900. Correspondence of R.D. Blackmore [manuscript] 1858-99. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Lowell, James Russel, 1819-1891. Letter to Walter Besant and W[illiam] F[rederick] Pollock. [s.l.]. 1882 Nov. 10. University of Iowa Libraries
creatorOf Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901. The story of King Alfred : galley proofs, undated. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Kipling, Rudyard, 1865-1936. [Colt-Kipling Collection miscellaneous letters]. Library of Congress
creatorOf Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901. The story of King Alfred : autograph manuscript and typed research notes, undated. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901. Sir Walter Besant manuscript, 1895. University of North Carolina at Greensboro, University Libraries, UNCG University Libraries
creatorOf Gosse, Edmund William, 1849-1928. Letter to Walter Besant. London, Eng. 1888 Dec. 30. University of Iowa Libraries
creatorOf Warner, Charles Dudley, 1829-1900. Papers of Charles Dudley Warner [manuscript], 1870-1900. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901. Letter to [?] Spender. Hampstead, Eng. 1897 Oct. 27. University of Iowa Libraries
creatorOf Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901. Loved I not honour more / a play by Walter Besant, [1896?]. Niagara University
creatorOf Lang, Andrew, 1844-1912. Letters, [18--?]. University of Iowa Libraries
referencedIn Letters to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1761-1904 (inclusive) 1820-1888 (bulk). Houghton Library.
creatorOf Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901. Herr Paulus : manuscript, [188-] Harvard University, Houghton Library
referencedIn A.P. Watt (Firm). A.P. Watt & Son correspondence, 1883-1917. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Fales Manuscript Collection, ca. 1700-2000 Fales Library & Special Collections
referencedIn Fales Manuscript Collection, ca. 1700-2000 Fales Library & Special Collections
creatorOf Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901. The luck of the "Susan Bell" / by Walter Besant. University of Arizona Libraries
creatorOf Pollock, Frederick, Sir, 1845-1937. Correspondence, 1848-1937. Harvard Law School Library, HLS Library
referencedIn A.P. Watt (Firm). A.P. Watt records, 1888-1982 (major authors A-B). University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
creatorOf Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901. Walter Besant collection, 1881-1892. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Colles, William Morris, 1855-1926. William Morris Colles papers, 1888-1928. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Engel, Solton and Julia,. Collection of Literary Letters, Manuscripts and Drawings, 1832-1935. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901. Papers of Sir Walter Besant [manuscript], 1888-1922 bulk 1888-1901). University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901. Letter to Lewis Thompson. London, Eng. 1897 Jan. 13. University of Iowa Libraries
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Alfred, King of England, 849-899. person
associatedWith Anderson family family
associatedWith A. P. Watt and Son corporateBody
associatedWith A.P. Watt (Firm) corporateBody
associatedWith Asser, John, d. 909. person
associatedWith Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626 person
associatedWith Besant, P.M. person
associatedWith Blackmore, R. D. (Richard Doddridge), 1825-1900. person
associatedWith Black, William, 1841-1898. person
associatedWith Borgman, Albert Stephens, 1890-1954 person
associatedWith Boucicault, Dionysius George, 1859-1929. person
associatedWith Bowker, Alfred. person
associatedWith Bryce, James Bryce, Viscount, 1838-1922. person
associatedWith Caine, Hall, Sir, 1853-1931 person
associatedWith Chatto, Andrew. person
associatedWith Clodd, Edward, 1840-1930. person
associatedWith Colles, William Morris, 1855-1926. person
associatedWith Collins, Wilkie, 1824-1889. person
associatedWith Dodd, Mead & Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Dowson, Ernest Christopher, 1867-1900. person
associatedWith Embry, Talton R., person
associatedWith Emerson, R. D. H., person
associatedWith Engel, Solton and Julia, person
associatedWith Fales, DeCoursey, 1888-1966 person
associatedWith Foot, Isaac, 1880-1960. person
associatedWith Furniss, Grace Livingston. person
associatedWith Gosse, Edmund William, 1849-1928. person
associatedWith Green, J. R. person
associatedWith Haggard, H. Rider (Henry Rider), 1856-1925. person
associatedWith Hamish, Marcus A., person
associatedWith Harte, Bret, 1836-1902. person
correspondedWith Houghton, Henry Oscar, 1823-1895 person
associatedWith Hunt, William Holman, 1827-1910. person
associatedWith Incorporated Society of Authors (Great Britain) corporateBody
correspondedWith Kipling, Rudyard, 1865-1936. person
associatedWith Lang, Andrew, 1844-1912. person
associatedWith Lawrence, Eugene, 1823-1894. person
correspondedWith Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, 1807-1882 person
associatedWith Loree, Louise Claire, person
associatedWith Lounsbury, Thomas Raynesford, 1838-1915. person
associatedWith Lowell, James Russel, 1819-1891. person
associatedWith Lowell, James Russell, 1819-1891 person
associatedWith Lowther, W., person
associatedWith Lytton, Rosina Bulwer Lytton, Baroness, 1802-1882. person
associatedWith Lytton, Victor Alexander George Robert Bulwer-Lytton, Earl of, 1876-1947. person
associatedWith Macfadyen, Dugald. person
associatedWith Macmillan Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Osgood, James R. (James Ripley), 1836-1892, person
associatedWith Pauli, Reinhold, 1823-1882. person
associatedWith Pollock, Frederick, 1845-1937 person
associatedWith Pollock, Frederick, Sir, 1845-1937. person
associatedWith Pollock, Walter Herries, 1850-1926. person
associatedWith Ray, Gordon Norton, 1915- person
associatedWith Richard Bentley and Son. corporateBody
associatedWith Riley, William Harrison, 1835-1907. person
associatedWith Sangorski & Sutcliffe, corporateBody
associatedWith Schaefler, Sam, 1920-, person
correspondedWith Selig, William N. person
associatedWith Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 person
correspondedWith Smith, Sydney, fl. 1887 person
associatedWith Swingle, John, person
associatedWith Taylor, Rev. Issac, 1829-1901, person
associatedWith Thompson, Lewis, person
associatedWith Trent, William Peterfield, 1862-1939. person
associatedWith Tucker, Stephen, person
associatedWith Tuer, Andrew White, 1838-1900. person
associatedWith Victoria, Queen of Great Britain, 1819-1901. person
associatedWith Warner, Charles Dudley, 1829-1900. person
associatedWith Watt, A. P. (Alexander Pollock), 1834-1914. person
correspondedWith Woodberry, George Edward, 1855-1930 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
London (England)
Nantucket Island (Mass.)
England
Subject
Authors and publishers
Ships--Fiction
Copyright
Male authors, English--19th century--Correspondence
Literary agents
Authors, English--19th century--Correspondence
Authors, English--19th century
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1836-08-14

Death 1901-06-09

Britons

English

Information

Permalink: http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6057m5w

Ark ID: w6057m5w

SNAC ID: 42850679