London : The Nonesuch Press, 1929
8vo (24cm). With ten chromolithograph illustrations by Marion V. Dorn (1896-1964) lithographed at the Curwen Press. No.1410 of 1050 copies for UK and 500 copies for USA. Original quarter vellum over paper covered boards, blocked and titled in gilt on front cover and spine; some edge wear and small chips to paper at corners; top edge gilt, others uncut; marbled endpapers; a few signs of age and use to this delicate binding, but otherwise good. It was composed in French in 1782 and then translated in 1786, claiming to be translated directly from Arabic. Printed in Monotype Plantin by the Oxford University Press on pale grey mottled Van Gelder paper
Beckford wrote Vathek when he was only 21 years old in 1782. It was first translated in to English in 1786 and claimed to be transcribed from an original Arabic manuscript. Beckford brilliantly drew on his contemporaries obsession with all things “Oriental” and combined an Arabic setting with the supernatural, horror and chills of a Gothic novel. Vathek is seen as one of the main classics of early Gothic literature, alongside Shelley’s Frankenstein.
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