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Sir Walter Besant

(1836—1901) writer and campaigner for authors' rights

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collaborated with James Rice and together they produced several best‐selling novels, including Ready‐Money Mortiboy (1872), The Golden Butterfly (1876), and The Chaplain of the Fleet (1881). He was deeply interested in the life of the poor, especially in the East End of London, and the terrible social conditions of industrial workers and draws attention to these in All Sorts and Conditions of Men (1882) and Children of Gibeon (1886); he stimulated the foundation of the People's Palace, Mile End (1887), for intellectual improvement and rational amusement. In 1884 he founded the Society of Authors, and became editor of The Author in 1890; he defined the financial position of authors in The Pen and the Book (1899). He also wrote historical works, histories of different parts of London, and A Survey of London (1902–12).

Subjects: Literature

Reference entries
Works by Sir Walter Besant