William Beckford

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Vathek: An Arabian Tale

by William Beckford

Vathek is one of the earliest and most influential Gothic novels. Its hero is the Caliph Vathek who renounces Islam in a hedonistic quest for supernatural powers, which leads to his downfall. Beckford's genius...

The History of the Caliph Vathek

by William Beckford

The novel chronicles the fall from power of the Caliph Vathek (a fictionalized version of the historical Al-Wathiq), who renounces Islam and engages with his mother, Carathis, in a series of licentious and deplorable...


by William Beckford & Thomas Keymer

'Woe to the rash mortal who seeks to know that of which he should remain ignorant; and to undertake that which surpasseth his power!' The Caliph Vathek is dissolute and debauched, and hungry for knowledge. When...

Dreams, Waking Thoughts, and Incidents: In a Series of Letters from Various Parts of Europe

by William Beckford

William Thomas Beckford (1 October 1760 – 2 May 1844), usually known as William Beckford, was an English novelist, a profligate and consummately knowledgeable art collector and patron of works of decorative...