This page will provide links to general Beckford resources on the Internet (resources of a more academic kind may be found on the page relating to Research as well as on the page relating to Art and Architecture and a shortlist of the major sites from these pages will be found to the right of this page).

The keeper of this site is grateful for any suggestions regarding additions to this collection of links and would also appreciate notices regarding links that have been changed. Please e-mail the keeper at this e-mail address.


* The Beckford Project (Kevin Berland)

* Rictor Norton's site on Beckford and Fonthill

* Lansdown Tower, Bath, and the Beckford Museum (the official website)

* Department of Western Manuscripts (houses the Beckford Papers at the Bodleian Library, Oxford)

* Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University, the second largest Beckford manuscripts collection

* The Sickly Taper (Fred Frank's bibliographic site on the Gothic with many references to Beckford)

Important and elusive articles on Beckford may be found at The University of Michigan's project THE MAKING OF AMERICA, where search facilities provide the interested with results such as Tuckerman's important article in Southern Literary Messenger (vol. 6, no 1, 1850, pp. 7-14), "William Beckford and the Literature of Travel", or
a notice on Vathek in SLM (vol. 1, no 4, 1834, pp. 188-189); a brief review of Recollections of an Excursion to the Monasteries of Alcobaça and Batalha in SLM (vol. 1, no 12, 1835, p. 714). Click here to access the searchable database.

Why not join an e-mail discussion list devoted to the life and works of William Beckford? Visit this URL and sign up! The list is maintained by Stephanie Mikes and is well worth joining.

Phil Tuck hosts a website on follies and folly towers where Beckford figures both with Fonthill and with Lansdown Tower. Click here and navigate to Wiltshire (Fonthill) and Avon (Lansdown). The site is nicely illustrated with engravings as well as newly taken photographs.

The Beckford Society is the first order of business for any aspiring Beckford scholar. Visit its homepage here!

Maxwell Steer has recorded and made Beckford's music available on CD and published Beckford's scores. For those interested in Beckford's musical side, this is the resource to consult. Click here to access Maxwell Steer's webpage.

As part of an attempt to demonstrate the powers of Archicad, an architectural software, Headstrong Interactive has produced a fly-by movie of Fonthill Abbey which can be viewed if you click here.

Some fine views of Beckford's Jamaican properties may be found if you click here.

A page placing Beckford's score to the Arcadian Pastoral in its historical context is found here.

A play about Beckford by Jonathan Weightman, Waking Thoughts (titled after Beckford's suppressed travelogue Dreams, Waking Thoughts and Incidents, 1783) was performed in Bath (March-April 2000). The following text is from the initial press release:

"Lisbon's Tagus Theatre continue to mine an unlikely but rich seam of Anglo/Portuguese history in their showsan effective - and affecting tale", wrote The Herald critic Keith Bruce of Waking Thoughts when it went to the Edinburgh Festival.

And now Bath audiences have the unique opportunity to see a new version of Waking Thoughts, a play about the relationship between William Beckford of Fonthill Abbey and Gregório Franchi of Lisbon.

Ostracised by polite English society for past sexual indiscretions, Beckford flees to Lisbon where he meets Franchi, singer and harpsichord player at the Royal Chapel of mad Queen Maria I..

Written by Jonathan Weightman, the play takes place in the Brown Parlour of Beckford's doomed Gothic masterpiece, Fonthill Abbey but also includes sequences in post-earthquake Lisbon at the end of the 18th century. The epilogue takes place in Lansdown Crescent, Bath in 1822. The play includes Portuguese and English music of the period."

Now, another opportunity presents itself to see this play:

to coincide with the Beckford exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery
TAGUS THEATRE from Lisbon presents
(from Lisbon to Baker Street & beyond)
a play by Jonathan Weightman

1787 LISBON. Forced by scandal to flee Britain the brilliant multi-talented William Beckford arrives in the exotic post-earthquake city where he meets and falls in love with Gregório Franchi, chorister and musician at the court of Queen Maria I.

WAKING THOUGHTS picks up the story thirty years later. They are still together. Ostracised by English society for past indiscretions Beckford has retired into his “spider’s web”, the fantastic and doomed gothic masterpiece, Fonthill Abbey.

WAKING THOUGHTS moves between memories of Portugal, isolation amidst the debris of the rising (and falling) Fonthill, and old age in Bath. On the way it takes in the gay coteries of London two hundred years ago.

BOTH Beckford and Franchi were musicians, and the play includes little- known music of the period.

"A Towering Success!" The Bath Chronicle.
"An effective, and affecting, tale " The Scotsman
19th to 24th February 2002, Tuesday to Saturday at 7.45pm Sunday 24th at 4pm, Press night, Wednesday 20th
Greenwich Playhouse
Greenwich Station forecourt
189 Greenwich High Road
London SE 10 8 JA
BOX OFFICE: 020 8858 9256
Tagus Theatre gratefully acknowledges the support of the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon

Gaslight is a website devoted to the online publication of e-texts. One Beckford item of great interest has appeared so far: a long review of Cyrus Redding's Memoirs of William Beckford of Fonthill, Author of "Vathek" (1859), originally published in North American Review, April 1860. The review is well worth reading; click here to read it.


A good and highly recommended French site on Beckford, kept by Les Baladins de la Tradition, may be found here.


[This page was last updated January 5, 2003]