Catalogue of the papers of Boyd Alexander (1913-80), relating to William Beckford (1760-1844)

Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

2002

Conversion to EAD supported by the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation

Department of Special Collections
Bodleian Library
Contact Information
Search Online Catalogues

Table of Contents

Introduction
A    Working notes, mainly relating to Alexander's published works on Beckford
B    Drafts of Alexander's unpublished works on Beckford, with related notes
C    Correspondence and some working notes of Alexander relating to Beckford
D    Miscellaneous


Papers of Boyd Alexander (1913-80), relating to William Beckford (1760-1844)

Abstract:
Papers of Boyd Alexander (1913-1980), publisher of works on William Beckford (1760-1844), author, MP and art collector.

Shelfmarks: MSS. Eng. lett. c. 687-95; Eng. misc. c. 888-93, d. 1288-98, e. 1446-58, f. 857-8; Facs. d. 291; Film 1766; Photogr. c. 5, d. 2; Top. gen. a. 23, fols. 1-2

Extent: 46 shelfmarks

Scope and Content

The papers comprise working notes, mainly relating to Alexander's published works on Beckford; drafts of Alexander's unpublished works on Beckford, with related notes; and correspondence, press cuttings, prints, photocopies, articles, lectures, and printed items.

Acquisition

Bequeathed by Alexander, together with: a number of printed books from Beckford's library ; a copy of Marcel May, La jeunesse de William Beckford (Paris, 1928) - 2695 d. 385; a presentation copy of André Parreaux, William Beckford (Paris, 1960) - 2695 d. 364; a printed law-case, The House of Lords in appeal. Richard Beckford, appellant. William Beckford, respondent. The appellant's case ([London],1783) - Vet. A5 a. 31 (5); photographs of a letter from Mendelssohn - MS. Deneke-Mendelssohn b. 13; and Beckford papers MSS. Eng. lett. c. 499-501; Eng. misc. e. 1236; Portuguese c. 1, 1980.

Related Material

The Library also holds papers of William Beckford (MSS. Beckford a. 1-4, b. 1-8, c. 1-89, d. 1-29, e. 1-5, f. 1-5, g. 1-2 - see the on-line catalogue) and papers of William Beckford, 1787-1811 (MSS. Eng. lett. c. 499-501; Eng. misc. e. 1236; Portuguese c. 1).

Personal names (NCA Rules)

Alexander | Boyd | 1913-1980 | writer
Beckford | William | 1760-1844 | author, MP, art collector

A   Working notes, mainly relating to Alexander's published works on Beckford

Shelfmarks: MSS. Eng. misc. c. 888-9, d. 1288, e. 1446-58


Notes of events in Beckford's life, 1740-88
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. misc. c. 888
Extent: 303 leaves
Arrangement: Chronological.

Scope and Content:

Includes transcripts and photostats, and some letters to Alexander.


Notes of events in Beckford's life, 1789-1845
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. misc. c. 889
Extent: 385 leaves
Arrangement: Chronological.

Scope and Content:

Includes transcripts and photostats, and some letters to Alexander, with

  • (fols. 336-50) a few notes on Beckford sales, 1847-1919
  • (fols. 351-85) photostats, including the wills of William Beckford senior, 1770, A. D. Macquin, 1821, and G. Franchi, 1825

General notes on Beckford
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. misc. e. 1446
Extent: 172 leaves
Arrangement: Alphabetical by subject, Aberdeen - French painter.

General notes on Beckford
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. misc. e. 1447
Extent: 135 leaves
Arrangement: Alphabetical by subject, Garden - Pylares.

General notes on Beckford
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. misc. e. 1448
Extent: 130 leaves
Arrangement: Alphabetical by subject, Reading - Yulan.

Material for footnotes to The journal of William Beckford in Portugal and Spain, ed. Boyd Alexander (London, 1954)
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. misc. e. 1449
Extent: 129 leaves
Arrangement: Alphabetical by subject, Abrantes - Expilly.

Material for footnotes to The journal of William Beckford in Portugal and Spain, ed. Boyd Alexander (London, 1954)
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. misc. e. 1450
Extent: 147 leaves
Arrangement: Alphabetical by subject, Ferracuti - North.

Material for footnotes to The journal of William Beckford in Portugal and Spain, ed. Boyd Alexander (London, 1954)
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. misc. e. 1451
Extent: 185 leaves
Arrangement: Alphabetical by subject, Obidos - War.

Typescript of material not contained in the published Journal
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. misc. d. 1288
Extent: 204 leaves

Scope and Content:

Includes

  • (fols. 1-19) appendix of journal entries excluded from the main text
  • (fols. 20-182) alphabetically arrangednotes
  • (fols. 183-204) 'Dry bones? A comparison of the unpublished journal with the published book [i.e. Beckford's edition of 1834]'

Material for footnotes to Life at Fonthill 1807-22, ed. Boyd Alexander (London, 1957)
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. misc. e. 1452
Extent: 138 leaves
Arrangement: Alphabetical by subject, Adorna - Cuttell.

Material for footnotes to Life at Fonthill 1807-22, ed. Boyd Alexander (London, 1957)
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. misc. e. 1453
Extent: 165 leaves
Arrangement: Alphabetical by subject, D'Alberg - Orde.

Material for footnotes to Life at Fonthill 1807-22, ed. Boyd Alexander (London, 1957)
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. misc. e. 1454
Extent: 138 leaves
Arrangement: Alphabetical by subject, Palmella - Vologoso.

Material for footnotes to Life at Fonthill 1807-22, ed. Boyd Alexander (London, 1957)
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. misc. e. 1455
Extent: 145 leaves

Scope and Content:

Includes

  • (fols. 1-56) Wallpaper - Zucchero
  • (fols. 57-144) material for footnotes to Boyd Alexander, England's wealthiest son (London, 1962)

Annotated index of foreign painters, compiled by Alexander, in part of the 1844 inventory of Beckford's possessions
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. misc. e. 1456
Extent: 184 leaves

Annotated index of English painters, compiled by Alexander, in part of the 1844 inventory of Beckford's possessions
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. misc. e. 1457
Extent: 169 leaves

Scope and Content:

With (fols. 53-168) notes, arranged alphabetically by artist, on Beckford's patronage of artists, including many slips from the first two indexes (MSS. Eng. misc. e. 1456-7)


List, arranged alphabetically by artist, of the pictures at Fonthill described in John Britton, Beauties of Wiltshire (London, 1801)
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. misc. e. 1458
Extent: 129 leaves

Scope and Content:

With (fols. 90-128) list of pictures photographed at Brodrick Castle in 1958, with a note of those appearing in the 1844 inventory.

B   Drafts of Alexander's unpublished works on Beckford, with related notes

Shelfmarks: MSS. Eng. misc. c. 890, d. 1289-96, f. 857-8


Typescript, with some annotations, of 'Beckfordiana or journal jottings and early compositions'
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. misc. d. 1289
Extent: 132 leaves

Scope and Content:

Includes (fols. 6-7, 93-115) 'Fonthill foreshadowed'. Pp. 57-70 of the original foliation missing.


Draft chapters, typescript and manuscript, of 'The reading of William Beckford', headed 'Slavery', 'Religion and death', and 'Glimpses of the reader'
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. misc. d. 1290
Extent: 216 leaves

Copies of Beckford's reading notes
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. misc. d. 1291
Extent: 249 leaves

Scope and Content:

Compiled from the reading notes among the Beckford papers, and from books in public and private collections, collected and annotated as material for 'The reading of William Beckford', arranged partly by subject, partly in several alphabetical series by author.


Copies of Beckford's reading notes, as MS. Eng. misc. d. 1291 above
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. misc. d. 1292
Extent: 282 leaves

Copies of Beckford's reading notes, as MS. Eng. misc. d. 1291 above
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. misc. d. 1293
Extent: 264 leaves

Scope and Content:

With (fols. 74-264) correspondence and papers relating to Lady Rosebery's Beckford books, and to sales of Beckford books, including

  • (fols. 209-39) a list of the books in the Hamilton Palace sales which contained annotations by Beckford
  • (fols. 240-64) a photocopy of Lady Rosebery's list of her Beckford books, compiled 1962

Card index (giving author, title, place and date of publication, with some notes by Alexander) of Beckford's books belonging to Lady Rosebery
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. misc. f. 857
Extent: 302 leaves

Scope and Content:

Includes (fols. 134-302) card index apparently of the transcripts made by Macquin of Beckford's reading notes (continued in MS. Eng. misc. f. 858).


Card index apparently of the transcripts made by Macquin of Beckford's reading notes, continued from MS. Eng. misc. f. 857)
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. misc. f. 858
Extent: 211 leaves

Typescript of 'Extracts [translated into English] from the unpublished letters of Wm. Beckford... to the Chevalier Franchi 1807 - 1819'
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. misc. d. 1294
Extent: i + 120 leaves

Scope and Content:

With commentary by Alexander and (fols. 81-110, 111-20) typed copies of 'Les trois montagnes' and 'The story of Alraoui'.


Typed transcripts of some of Beckford's letters (in Italian) to Franchi [MSS. Beckford c. 1-11], 1807-12
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. misc. d. 1295
Extent: 187 leaves

Scope and Content:

With some notes by Alexander.


Typed transcripts of some of Beckford's letters (in Italian) to Franchi [MSS. Beckford c. 1-11], 1813-23
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. misc. d. 1296
Extent: 172 leaves

Scope and Content:

With (fols. 161-72) translations of a few letters.


Notes, and a few letters to Alexander
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. misc. c. 890
Extent: 342 leaves

Scope and Content:

Comprises notes on

  • (fols. 1-16) nicknames and slang words used by Beckford
  • (fols. 17-39) Beckford's finances
  • (fols. 40-62) portraits of Beckford
  • (fols. 63-130) sales of Beckford papers, objets d'art and pictures, with related cuttings, and (fol. 63) proof copy of announcement of the sale of Lansdown Tower by English & Son [1845]
  • (fols. 131-79) correspondence about the sale of the Beckford papers, Sotheby's, 6 July 1977
  • (fols. 180-313) manuscript and typescript extracts relating to Beckford or Fonthill, from various printed and manuscript works, including the diaries of Joseph Farington
  • (fols. 314-42) references to letters to and from Beckford which are printed in the biographies of Beckford by Melville, Chapman and Oliver

C   Correspondence and some working notes of Alexander relating to Beckford

Shelfmarks: MSS. Eng. lett. c. 687-95


Scope and Content:

Correspondents and subjects include: James T. Babb; Centaur Press; H. H. von Erffa; Fonthill Abbey model; Hamilton (correspondence with the Dukes of Hamilton and others, including the curator of the Hamilton papers); Rupert Hart-Davis Ltd. ; Jamaica; E. P. S. Lewin (and other literary agents); Fâtimah Mûsá Mahmûd; Marialva [and Cintra and Monserrate]; parliamentary career; André Parreaux; patronage of art; Portugal; Saunders; Sir Francis Watson (Wallace collection), with (c. 695, fols. 280-324) letters to Alexander from readers and reviewers of his books.

Arrangement: Alphabetical by correspondent or subject

Adams - Brown
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. lett. c. 687
Extent: 211 leaves

Chapman - Curtis Brown
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. lett. c. 688
Extent: 181 leaves

Encyclopaedia Britannica - Graham
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. lett. c. 689
Extent: 199 leaves

Hamilton
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. lett. c. 690
Extent: 317 leaves

Harrowby - Hyde
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. lett. c. 691
Extent: 263 leaves

Jamaica - Lowenhaupt
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. lett. c. 692
Extent: 245 leaves

Mahmûd - Orde
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. lett. c. 693
Extent: 270 leaves

Pailler - Ramalho
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. lett. c. 694
Extent: 277 leaves

Regency Society - Wilson
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. lett. c. 695
Extent: 327 leaves

D   Miscellaneous

Shelfmarks: MSS. Eng. misc. c. 891-3, d. 1297-8; Photogr. c. 5, d. 2; Top. gen. a. 23, fols. 1-2; Facs. d. 291; Film 1766


Press cuttings of reviews of Alexander's books
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. misc. c. 891
Extent: 140 leaves

Prints, some coloured, of Fonthill Abbey and Lansdown Tower
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. misc. c. 892
Extent: 49 leaves

Scope and Content:

With

  • (fol. 2) pencil and wash view of Fonthill Abbey by H. V. Lansdown, '1790' (see note at fol. i)
  • (fols. 40-6) prints of portraits of William Beckford senior

A pencil and wash drawing, and a plan, 19th-20th cent.
Shelfmark: MS. Top. gen. a. 23, fols. 1-2

Scope and Content:

Contains

  • (fol. 1) a pencil and wash drawing of a view of Monserrate attributed (wrongly, according to a note by Alexander) to Francis Nicholson (1753-1844)
  • (fol. 2) plan showing Beckford estates in Jamaica, 20th cent.

Photographs
Shelfmark: MS. Photogr. c. 5
Extent: 143 leaves

Scope and Content:

Contains

  • (fols. 1-13) portraits of Beckford's father and members of the family
  • (fols. 14-29) portraits of Beckford
  • (fols. 30-45) portraits of Beckford's contemporaries
  • (fols. 46-72) paintings and prints of Fonthill Abbey
  • (fols. 73-103) paintings owned by Beckford
  • (fols. 104-29) views of Monserrate
  • (fols. 130-43) objets d'art from Beckford's collections

Typescripts and offprints of articles and lectures by Alexander and others, 20th cent.
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. misc. c. 893
Extent: 347 leaves

Printed items, 19th-20th cent.
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. misc. d. 1297
Extent: 33 items

Scope and Content:

Includes offprints, periodicals containing articles on Beckford, some exhibition catalogues (mainly of paintings), a few auction catalogues, 1970s, and (item 1) a disbound copy of John Rutter, Description of Fonthill Abbey, 6th ed. (Shaftesbury, 1822).


Printed items, 20th cent.
Shelfmark: MS. Eng. misc. d. 1298
Extent: 8 items

Scope and Content:

Includes offprints, periodicals containing articles on Beckford, some exhibition catalogues (mainly of paintings), a few auction catalogues, 1970s.


Photographs of sale catalogues of furniture, pictures, and objets d'art belonging to Beckford
Shelfmark: MS. Photogr. d. 2
Extent: 83 leaves

Scope and Content:
  • (fols. 1-32) Christie's, 9-10, 12 May 1817 annotated with prices and buyer's names (13 May is included on the microfilm copy, below)
  • (fols. 33-68) Phillips, 22 June and following days 1825 [probably not Beckford]
  • (fols. 69-83) fragments of English & Son's sale catalogue, 20 Nov. and seven following days [1845]

Microfilm (from the same copy as in MS. Photogr. d. 2) of Beckford sale catalogue, Christie's, 9-10, 12-13 May 1817
Shelfmark: MS. Film 1766

Photostats of the manuscript of Henry Venn Lansdown's Recollections of [the] late William Beckford
Shelfmark: MS. Facs. d. 291
Extent: 105 leaves

Transformation from XML to HTML by Lawrence Mielniczuk
06 May 2011