William Beckford


  • Legal Name: Beckford, William
  • Place of Birth: UK
  • Date of Birth: October 01, 1760
  • Date of Death: May 02, 1844


Son of William Beckford the Elder, who was mayor of London for two terms and owned sugar plantations in the West Indies, Beckford was rumored to be the richest man in England. His best known work is Vathek, written in French in 1782, and later published in 1786. Beckford was charged with sexual misconduct with a young boy in 1784, and although the allegations were never proven, Beckford was forced to live in Switzerland from 1785-1796. Like Horace Walpole before him, Beckford was obsessed with creating a Gothic castle, and upon his return to England he built the castle he called Fonthill Abbey. It was considered one of the most sensational structures from the English Gothic Revival. Beckford eventually published a journal about Fonthill, called Life at Fonthill, 1807-22.

Short Fiction:

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