The autobiography of William Jay.
Edinburgh, The Banner of Truth Trust 1974.
8vo. (2) + xiii + (3) + 586pp, portrait frontispiece. Publisher’s cloth, in dustwrapper. The Wiltshire Library & Museum Service copy, with circular library stamp on title and printed library labels pasted to front free endpaper.
A facsimile reprint of the autobiography of Rev.William Jay (1769-1853), a prominent Congregational minister in Bath, first published in 1854. Readers may well wonder what this has to do with Beckford, for Beckford had no very obvious religious beliefs, but the explanation is that Jay had started life as an apprentice to his father, a stone mason, both of them apparently working at Fonthill in the early 1780s, and the editors of Jay’s autobiography took this as an excuse to insert a few pages about Beckford (pp 24-33), including an interesting letter from the Bath architect H.E.Goodridge about Beckford’s attitude to religion and Beckford’s final illness. This reprint not noted by Millington.