William Beckford (William Beckford)

William Beckford

Author. He born in Fonthill, Wiltshire, in the manor house owned by his father who was twice Lord Mayor of London. He inherited a large fortune from his father, William Beckford, consisting of one million in cash, and several sugar plantations in Jamaica. In 1783, after his marraige to Margaret Gordon , he travelled, having been involved in a homosexual scandal, spending the majority of his brief married life in Switzerland, his wife dying at childbirth, in 1786. Having studied under Sir William Chambers and Alexander Cozens, he travelled Italy in 1782 and wrote a book on the subject: “Dreams, Waking Thoughts and Incidents” (1783). His best known work, the Gothic novel “Vathek”(1786), was originally written in French, and as he was accustomed to boast, written at a single sitting, three days and two nights. He travelled round Spain and Portugal and wrote his “Portuguese Letters”, which rank among his best work. He returned to England and built a magniicent residence, Fonthill Abbey, on the site of his birthplace, which cost him about £273,000. He later sold it. He pursued a life of extravagances, dissipating his fortune of £100,000 of his capital remaining at his death. (bio by: s.canning)

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Born

  • October, 01, 1760
  • United Kingdom
  • London, England

Died

  • May, 05, 1844
  • United Kingdom
  • Bath, Somerset, England

Cemetery

  • Lansdown Cemetery
  • Somerset, England
  • United Kingdom

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