Sir Walter Besant (1836-1901), was a novelist and historian from London. His sister-in-law was Annie Besant. He was born at Portsmouth, and attended school at St Paul's, Southsea, Stockwell Grammar, London and King's College London. In 1855, he was admitted to Christ's College, Cambridge, where he graduated in 1859 as 18th wrangler. He settled in London in 1867. He took the duties of Secretary to the Palestine Exploration Fund. In 1868 he published Studies in French Poetry. Three years later he began his collaboration with James Rice. Among their joint productions were Ready-Money Mortiboy (1871) and The Golden Butterfly (1876). This connection was brought to an end by the death of Rice in 1882.