Beste was baptized John Richard Best, the son of Henry Digby Beste (1768-1836) of Mavis Enderby, Lincolnshire. He was educated at Stonyhurst College. He led a wandering life with his family, living in various parts of Europe and America, which formed the basis of his numerous novels and memoirs.
He married a distant relative, Harriet Mary Rosamond Best (born c.1810), the daughter of Charles Best (1773-1818/9) of Bath, on 12 January 1830. The marriage produced 7 children: Henry Digby (born 1831), Lucy (27 April 1834), Frank Digby (August 1835), Kenelm Digby (1836), Agnes (8 April 1838), Constable Digby (early 1840) and Isabella (24 November 1841).
In late 1850 he married Marian d’Oyley Meredith, at Marylebone church.
He died in Florence, aged 80, and was buried in the family tomb in the Campo Santa at Naples.
- Cuma, the Warrior-bard of Erin; and other poems. London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, & Green, 1829.
- Satires; and, The beggar's coin: A poem. London: Hurst, Chance, 1831.
- The Pope. A novel. (3 volumes), London: Saunders & Otley, 1840. Volume I, Volume II, Volume III
- Isidora; or, The adventures of a Neapolitan: A novel. (3 volumes), London: Saunders & Otley, 1841.
- Modern Society in Rome: a novel. (3 volumes), London: Hurst & Blackett, 1856.
- Alcazar; or, the Dark Ages. A novel. (3 volumes), London: Hurst & Blackett, 1857. Volume I, Volume II, Volume III
- Transalpine Memoirs; or, Anecdotes and observations shewing the actual state of Italy and the Italians (by "an English Catholic"). (2 volumes), Bath, UK: Richard Cruttwell, for Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, & Green, 1826.
- Transrhenane Memoirs. Bath, UK: Richard Cruttwell, for Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, & Green, 1828.
- The new poor law in practice. London: Ridgway / Southamption, UK: Joyce, 1837.
- Odious comparisons, or, The cosmopolite in England. 1839.
- The Wabash; or, Adventures of an English gentleman's family in the interior of America]. (2 volumes), London: Hurst & Blackett, 1855; Freeport, NY: Books for Libraries Press, 1970. Volume I, Volume II
- Nowadays; or Courts, courtiers, churchmen, Garibaldians, lawyers, and brigands, at home and abroad. (2 volumes), London: Chapman & Hall, 1870. Volume I, Volume II
- A Traveller's Impression of Indiana in 1851. Fort Wayne, IN: Public Library of Fort Wayne & Allen County, 1954.
- Pierre Gringore, Rondeaulx: Translated from the black letter French edition of 1527. London: Saunders & Otley, 1838.
- Holy Readings: Giving the cream of many books in one, hopeful and good for all Catholics everywhere. London: R. Washbourne, 1868.
- Richard Preston, "The Travels and Tribulation of an English Catholic: John Richard Beste (1805-1885)," Southampton Local History Centre. Web, Apr. 29, 2016.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Frederick Boase, "John Richard Digby Beste, Modern English Biography, 4:387. English Poetry, 1579-1830, Web, Apr. 29, 2016.
- ↑ John Henry Digby Beste (1806-1885), At the Circulating Library: A database of Victorian fiction, 18 February 2016, Troy J. Bassett. Web, Apr. 29, 2016.
- ↑ Preston, 4-5.
- ↑ Preston, 1.
- ↑ Preston, 10.
- ↑ Preston, 15.
- ↑ Preston, 19.
- ↑ Search results = au:John Richard Digby Beste, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, Apr. 29, 2016.
- John Richard Digby Beste at the Online Books Page
- John Richard Digby Beste at Amazon.com
- John Richard Digby Beste at GoodReads
- John Henry Digby Beste (1806-1885) in At the Circulating Library: A database of Victorian fiction
- John Richard Digby Beste (1806-1885) at English Poetry, 1579-1830
- "The Travels and Tribulation of an English Catholic: John Richard Beste (1805-1885)" at Southampton Local History Centre.
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