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William Beckford

(1760—1844) writer and art collector


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(1759–1844),

a traveller and a man of great wealth, who spent large sums in the creation and decoration of Fonthill Abbey, a Gothic extravaganza, where he lived from 1796 until 1822. He is remembered chiefly as the author of the Oriental Tale Vathek. His other works include two books of travel, Dreams, Waking Thoughts, and Incidents (1783, revised 1834) and Recollections of an Excursion to the Monastries of Alcobaça and Betalha (1835). See also Gothic Novel; Gothic Revival.


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Works by William Beckford