William Beckford (1760-1844) was the author of the oriental tale Vathek and of several volumes of travel writings, the builder of Fonthill Abbey, and an important collector of paintings, objets d'art and books. Details are given in the Dictionary of National Biography.
The papers consist of correspondence, a commonplace book and an agreement for the purchase by Beckford of a house in Lisbon. The papers relate to Beckford's affairs in Jamaica and Portugal.
The papers were bought by Boyd Alexander in 1968 and 1975, except for MS. Eng. lett. c. 501, which was bequeathed by Charles Robin Hollway to Gerald Wellesley in 1921.Immediate Source of Acquisition
The papers were bequeathed to the Library by Boyd Alexander, 1980.Access Conditions
Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card (for admissions procedures see http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/services/admissions/).
A full description is available in the Library.Related Units of Description
Beckford | William | 1760-1844 | Author, MP, and Art Collector