Sir Walter Besant (1836 – 1901)
Flower Festival 2012:
Arranged by Helen Marcus and given by the Heath and Hampstead Society.
In 1901 the Hampstead Heath Protection Society (now the Heath and Hampstead Society) recorded the following appreciation: “[The Committee] have to regret the loss of an Honorary Member, Sir Walter Besant, one of the founders of the Society, who was a devoted lover of the Heath, and gave valuable help to the movement for securing Golders Hill for the public”.
Sir Walter Besant was one of the most distinguished writers of his time, producing not only novels, but historical and archaeological works, including ‘A Survey of London’. Like Dickens, he used his eminence to draw attention to the plight of London’s poor, and his novel, ‘All Sorts and Conditions of Men’ (1882) about the East End of London set on foot the movement that culminated in the establishment of the People’s Palace in the Mile End Road. He was also instrumental in establishing the Society of Authors in 1884. His house in Frognal End is marked with a blue plaque.
This page was last updated on July 18th, 2012.