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.