William Thomas Beckford cover

photo credits: English Wikipedia

William Thomas Beckford

English novelist

1760   -   1844

country of citizenship: Kingdom of Great Britain, United Kingdom
occupation: writer, politician, architect, novelist
position held: Member of the 4th Parliament of the United Kingdom, Member of Parliament in the Parliament of Great Britain

William Thomas Beckford (1 October 1760 – 2 May 1844) was an English novelist, a profligate and consummately knowledgeable art collector and patron of works of decorative art, a critic, travel writer and sometime politician, reputed at one stage in his life to be the richest commoner in England. His parents were William Beckford and Maria Hamilton, daughter of the Hon. George Hamilton. He was Member of Parliament for Wells from 1784 to 1790, for Hindon from 1790 to 1795 and 1806 to 1820. He is remembered as the author of the Gothic novel Vathek (1786), the builder of the remarkable lost Fonthill Abbey and Lansdown Tower ("Beckford's Tower"), Bath, and especially for his art collection.
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