DREAMS, WAKING THOUGHTS AND INCIDENTS

WILLIAM BECKFORD
Edited by ROBERT J GEMMETT
256pp 2006 LIST PRICE: £25.00 B536

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Description
These letters of William Beckford were composed during his Grand Tour on the continent in 1780-81. From brief daily notes kept during this tour, Beckford wrote, not simply a travel journal, but a composition which gave occasional glimpses into the inner thoughts and dreams of the author. Strangely, Beckford himself suppressed the book on its release, destroying almost 500 copies of the original print. A much modified and toned down version was finally released in 1834, incorporating only musings on his travels in Italy, Spain and Portugal. Gemmett's edition, in contrast, is an almost verbatim copy of the original edition of 1783, and provides a compelling early glimpse into the mind of a man who was to become universally known in later life as the 'Fool of Fonthill'.