William Beckford's Red Copy Book
The following manuscript, MS. Beckford e. 1, or The Red Copy Book,
has been transcribed with as much precision as possible. Beckfords
spelling (and that of the unidentified compiler, possibly Mme de Starck
[cf. Guy Chapman, Beckford (1952), 350]) is idiosyncratic and
all misspellings have been retained in the transcription; nor has the
erratic punctuation been corrected. Major corrections and alterations
in the manuscript (where these can be easily deciphered), on the other
hand, have. Beckfords footnotes have also been dropped (these
footnotes, alongside an extensive apparatus concerning alterations and
deletions in the manuscript, is found in the Appendix to Dick
Claésson, The Narratives of the Biographical legend. The
Early Works of William Beckford, [diss.], Göteborg 2001).
The copy book is paginated from page 1 to page 132; the pagination is
provided within square brackets. Paragraphs have been retained in the
transcription; linebreaks have not.
Underlined words which would normally be rendered in italics are not
distinguished in this online edition, nor has any double underlining
The addressees are sometimes indicated in the manuscript; when they
are not one may often find an addressee attribution in Guy Chapmans
appendix on the RCB; Chapman (1952), 350-356. The copy book does
not follow a chronological outline; the letters range in date from 1777
to 1790 but the bulk of the letters are from the late 1770s and the
Please use the links on the lower left to continue on to the online
edition of the Red Copy Book.
The manuscript is published with the kind permission of the Department
of Western Manuscripts at the Bodleian Library, Oxford. This transcription
is Copyright of the Editor.