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At the Circulating Library

A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901

A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901

Author: John Daly Besemeres

Author: John Daly Besemeres (1823–1879)

Biography: John Daly Besemeres was born on 14 April 1823 in London the eldest son of John Besemeres, the owner of the outfitting company Besemeres and Co. (The son adopted the addition to his name "Daly" to differentiate himself from his father.) Eschewing business, he turned to literary work writing several successful plays in the 1850s including Broken Toys (1850) and The Times (1853). In the 1860s, he accepted a job as an editor of the Indian Daily News in Calcutta and would go on to edit the Indian Examiner. On his return to England in 1870, Besemeres published his only novel before suffering health and financial problems, caused no doubt by his drinking as hinted by his wife's letter the Royal Literary Fund. His application to the RLF was rejected; however his friends contributed to his support. Sadly, he died in the Islington workhouse infirmary. As one commentator on his death remarked, had Besemeres stayed in his father's business, he would have been wealthy. Instead, he traded fortune for fame.

Author Tags:

References: Era (7 December 1879); RLF (case number 1928)

Fiction Titles:

  1. No Actress: A Stage Door-Keeper's Story.  1 vol.  London: Effingham Wilson, 1870.