William Beckford's Red Copy Book

The following manuscript, MS. Beckford e. 1, or The Red Copy Book, has been transcribed with as much precision as possible. Beckford’s spelling (and that of the unidentified compiler, possibly Mme de Starck [cf. Guy Chapman, Beckford (1952), 350]) is idiosyncratic and all misspellings have been retained in the transcription; nor has the erratic punctuation been corrected. Major corrections and alterations in the manuscript (where these can be easily deciphered), on the other hand, have. Beckford’s footnotes have also been dropped (these footnotes, alongside an extensive apparatus concerning alterations and deletions in the manuscript, is found in the Appendix to Dick Claésson, The Narratives of the Biographical legend. The Early Works of William Beckford, [diss.], Göteborg 2001).

The copy book is paginated from page 1 to page 132; the pagination is provided within square brackets. Paragraphs have been retained in the transcription; linebreaks have not.

Underlined words which would normally be rendered in italics are not distinguished in this online edition, nor has any double underlining been retained.

The addressees are sometimes indicated in the manuscript; when they are not one may often find an addressee attribution in Guy Chapman’s appendix on the RCB; Chapman (1952), 350-356. The copy book does not follow a chronological outline; the letters range in date from 1777 to 1790 but the bulk of the letters are from the late 1770s and the early 1780s.

Please use the links on the lower left to continue on to the online edition of the Red Copy Book.

The manuscript is published with the kind permission of the Department of Western Manuscripts at the Bodleian Library, Oxford. This transcription is Copyright of the Editor.

The Editor

Pages 1-10 ::: Pages 11-20 ::: Pages 21-30 ::: Pages 31-40
Pages 41-50 ::: Pages 51-60 ::: Pages 61-70 ::: Pages 71-80
Pages 81-90 ::: Pages 91-100 ::: Pages 101-110 ::: Pages 111-132