Launch event for the revival of Walter Besant’s 19th Century novel based in Portsmouth

See the University sites as they were in the mid-Nineteenth Century: when Milldam was a mill dam, Park Road was a pond, and Ravelin House was a part of the old fortifications.

Walter Besant, born in Portsmouth, was a contemporary of Dickens and, in his day, a household name. The novel set around what is now our campus, By Celia’s Arbour, has been nearly forgotten: but local publisher Matt Wingett is reprinting this best-selling book from 1877.

Senior lecturer, Dr Alison Habens, has written a new preface to the Victorian novel set in familiar streets; and together they will introduce the characters, set the scene and describe the extraordinary creative process behind Besant’s text.

At this exciting launch, they will discuss their research into the actual locations, now almost unrecognisable but still possible to spot, of the key settings for the story: the Captain’s House, the parish church and Celia’s Arbour itself.

St George’s Church, St George’s Square, Portsea, Saturday 30th April 3 – 5pm