William Beckford was a novelist, travel writer, art critic and politician best known for his novel
Vathek, a story with elaborate imagery, sardonic humour and an unforgettable gallery of grotesques, which describes a journey to the halls of Eblis, or Hell, in the pursuit of knowledge.
This edition features a new introduction by noted historian and poet Donald Sidney-Fryer, a striking color dustjacket by British artist David Whitlam, and the complete line drawings by Mahlon Blaine.
William Beckford (1760-1844) inherited a large fortune and, at the age of nineteen, went on a tour of Holland, Germany, Belgium, France and Italy. He was a Member of Parliament and a traveller who spent large sums of money collecting rare books, curiosities and paintings for the embellishment of his Gothic Extravaganza, Fonthill Abbey, where he lived in opulent seclusion until forced by bankruptcy to sell it in 1822.