Vathek, the notoriously decadent oriental tale by William Beckford, was published (first in French) in 1786. Byron was a great fan of the book. The Caliph Vathek's initial act of hubris (which ultimately earns him damnation) is the building of a gigantic tower.
Beckford himself commissioned a monumental tower for his own home, Fonthill Abbey, that eventually collapsed of structural flaws--in effect of its own weight.
Romantic Circles / Electronic Editions / The Last Man / Note: Vathek