This website, hosted by the Centre international d'étude du XVIIIe siècle, Ferney-Voltaire, will serve as an Internet site for resources and studies on the life and works of William Beckford. It will aim to present current and earlier research, serve as a repository of facsimile editions of Beckford's works for easy access and collect links to Beckfordian items on the web and elsewhere.

The keeper of these pages is always grateful to receive contributions in the form of facsimiles (in a format suitable for publication on the web, i.e. scanned images) of any text related to Beckford, or essays, theses and papers on any aspect of Beckford. It is the expressed hope that such contributions to this site will expand the Beckfordiana website well beyond the possibilities of any single individual.

The site may be searched at this URL:
There, you may also search other sites and webpages related to Beckford.

Some statistics may be viewed here.

The site is constructed on a Macintosh eMac G4, using Dreamweaver MX and Photoshop 7 running under OSX. It is designed to be viewed at its most ideal in Internet Explorer 5. Set your monitor to screen resolution 1024x768 and millions of colours.

You may also wish to download a few desktop images of Fonthill Abbey and Fonthill Splendens, devised for a 1024x768 desktop. Click here to download (N.B.! this is a large file: 2,8 mb, Stuffit archive for Macintosh).

Please mail any contributions, suggestions or questions to Dick Claésson, or (by regular mail) to

Dick Claésson
Tideräkningsgatan 36
SE 415 10 Göteborg

All materials found on this website are, unless stated otherwise, Copyright of the Keeper and may not be republished on another website or in any other form without the written permission of the Keeper.


Jon Millington's "William Beckford: A Bibliography"
was published on 1 September
ISBN 978-0-9537836-3-2 £50.00

But do not miss the opportunity, meanwhile, to visit Bath Literature Festival
4 – 12 March 2006, particularly the following events:

Saturday 4th March 11am – 12.30pm.
William Beckford: Tales of Distant Lands
Beckford’s Tower & Museum, Bath
William Beckford was only 22 when he wrote his famous Gothic novel Vathek. This lecture explores the influence of far away lands, both real and imagined, on Beckford and his writings.

Wednesday 8th March 11am – 12.30pm
William Beckford: The international influence
Beckford’s Tower & Museum, Bath
What inspired William Beckford to build the monstrous Fonthill Abbey? Why is Beckford’s Tower different from the rest of Bath? This lecture explores the foreign and local influences on Beckford’s architecture.

The brochure for the Bath Literature Festival is out in early January. Call Bath Festivals Box Office to be put on the free mailing list (01225) 463362, or email them at . The website will be updated with full programme details from the 9th January,


* Chapters 1-6 of the first volume of Redding's
1859 biography of Beckford [new]

William Hazlitt's damning review of the Fonthill sale (1824)
has been added to the website [new]

A chapter from W. P. Frith, My Autobiography and Reminiscences,
London, 1887, "The Fonthill Story"
* Jerome Murch's two chapters on Beckford from
Biographical Sketches of Bath Celebrities (1893) [new]
* A new page, listing the various biographical resources
currently on Beckfordiana - and announcing the commencement
of the ongoing, online edition of Cyrus Redding's
Memoirs of William Beckford (1859) [new]
* Possibly the first review of Vathek, published in Journal de
in December, 1786, in facsimile [new]
* John Jefferson's long poem "Fonthill" (1824) [new]
In 1823 and 1824, The Country Literary Chronicle and Weekly Review
(later called The Literary Chronicle and Weekly Review) published reviews of three of the
major Fonthill guidebooks. The reviews are published on Beckfordiana, in facsimile [new]

* William Haig Miller's essay on Beckford - "The Man of Wealth" - from
The Mirage of Life (1850) with an illustration by John Tenniel [new]
* Alfred Dunning's childrens' book story on Beckford
"The Fantastic Builder" from Some Curious Characters [1948] [new]
* Lewis Melville's essay on Beckford from Some Eccentrics & a Woman (1911) [new]
* Beckford's unpublished tale L'Esplendente (c. 1779-80) [new]

[This page was last updated on Dec. 18, 2005]