Beckford, William

(c. 1760-1844)
   Miscellaneous writer, only s. of William B., Lord Mayor of London, the associate and supporter of John Wilkes, inherited at the age of 9 an enormous fortune. In these circumstances he grew up wayward and extravagant, showing, however, a strong bent towards literature. His education was entrusted to a private tutor, with whom he travelled extensively on the Continent. At the age of 22 he produced his oriental romance, Vathek (c. 1781), written originally in French and, as he was accustomed to boast, at a single sitting of three days and two nights. There is reason, however, to believe that this was a flight of imagination. It is an impressive work, full of fantastic and magnificent conceptions, rising occasionally to sublimity. His other principal writings are Memoirs of Extraordinary Painters (1780), a satirical work, and Letters from Italy with Sketches of Spain and Portugal (1835), full of brilliant descriptions of scenes and manners. B.'s fame, however, rests nearly as much upon his eccentric extravagances as a builder and collector as upon his literary efforts. In carrying out these he managed to dissipate his fortune of £100,000 a year, only £80,000 of his capital remaining at his death. He sat in parliament for various constituencies, and one of his two dau. became Duchess of Hamilton.

Short biographical dictionary of English literature . . 2011.

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  • Beckford, William — born Sept. 29, 1760, London, Eng. died May 2, 1844, Bath, Somerset English dilettante, novelist, and eccentric. He is remembered for his gothic novel Vathek (1786), about an impious voluptuary who builds a tower so high that he challenges… …   Universalium

  • Beckford, William — (29 sep. 1760, Londres, Inglaterra–2 may. 1844, Bath, Somerset). Novelista, diletante y excéntrico inglés. Es recordado por su novela gótica Vatek (1786), sobre un impío hedonista que construye una torre tan alta que constituye una afrenta para… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • BECKFORD, WILLIAM —    author of Vathek, son of a rich alderman of London, who bequeathed him property to the value of £100,000 per annum; kept spending his fortune on extravagancies and vagaries; wrote Vathek, an Arabian tale, when a youth of twenty two, at a… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • William Beckford — William Beckford. William Thomas Beckford (*Fonthill, Wiltshire, 1 de octubre de 1760 †2 de mayo de 1844) fue un novelista inglés, crítico de arte, escritor de crónicas de viajes y político. Biografía …   Wikipedia Español

  • William Thomas Beckford — William Beckford Nom de naissance William Thomas Beckford Naissance 1er  …   Wikipédia en Français

  • William Beckford der Ältere — William Beckford (Stich nach einer Statue, Beinecke Library, Yale) William Beckford der Ältere (* 19. Dezember 1709; † 21. Juni 1770) war ein englischer Politiker. Er war zweimal (1762 und 1769) Lord Mayor of London. Er ist der Vater des… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • BECKFORD (W.) — BECKFORD WILLIAM (1759 1844) Riche héritier d’une vieille famille anglaise, fils d’un fastueux lord maire de Londres, membre du Parlement et pair d’Angleterre, William Beckford, précurseur du romantisme, appartient à la lignée des mystiques de… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • William Hamilton, 11. Duke of Hamilton — William Alexander Anthony Douglas Hamilton (* 19. Februar 1811 in London; † 15. Juli 1863 in Paris) war ein schottischer Adliger, 11. Herzog von Hamilton und 8. Herzog von Brandon William Hamilton war der Sohn des Alexander Hamilton, 10. Herzog… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • William Hamilton, 11. Herzog von Hamilton — William Alexander Anthony Douglas Hamilton (* 19. Februar 1811 in London; † 15. Juli 1863 in Paris) war ein schottischer Adliger, 11. Herzog von Hamilton und 8. Herzog von Brandon William Hamilton war der Sohn des Alexander Hamilton, 10. Herzog… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Beckford — Beckford, William, geb. 1760 in London, bereiste im Besitz eines großen Vermögens längere Zeit den Continent u. saß dann für Hindon im Unterhause; er lebte später in Portugal, wo er bei Cintra einen Landsitz besaß, u. nach seiner Rückkehr nach… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

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