In the early years of the 1820's, Fonthill Abbey attracted a massive media attention due to the rumours of and actual sale of the Abbey and its contents. A New Guide to Fonthill Abbey (published in 1822) is one of the more modest productions in a wide array of guidebooks which were issued to cash in on the public interest. It has only one plate, whereas guidebooks by John Rutter and John Britton presented lavish engravings, sections and maps to accompany their descriptions of the estate. It does, however, contain a section with selected items from the auction catalogues and can therefore be seen as representative not only of the estate but also of the contents of the Abbey (though many objects were not, originally, in Beckford's collections but added by the auctioneers). Robert J. Gemmett has published the Beckford sales catalogues in facsimile, and those who are interested may find the complete 1823 catalogue reproduced, in facsimile, in his volume on Beckford in the series Sale Catalogues of Eminent Persons, vol. 3 (1972).
Please use the index below to continue to the facsimile of the New Guide to Fonthill Abbey (1822).