Soldier, explorer, and adventurer, British author CAPTAIN SIR RICHARD FRANCIS BURTON (1821-1890) is perhaps best remembered for his notoriously unexpurgated translations of The Arabian Nights and the Kama Sutra, which scandalized-and titillated-Victorian readers. Lesser known, however, is his intriguing collection of classic Hindu tales of adventure, magic, and romance, first published in 1870. Enlivened by Burton's own imagination-he was the first to translate them from Sanskrit-these stories purport to demonstrate "the exceeding folly of many wise fools," "the use and misuse of magic pills," "that a man's wife belongs not to his body but to his head," "the marvellous delicacy of three queens," and more. This obscure, delightful work is a fascinating look at both Indian mythology and Victorian cultural anthropology.
a journey in the footsteps of Captain Sir Richard Burton : 1842-1849, the India years
Author: Christopher Ondaatje
Publisher: Harpercollins Canada
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Sindh Revisited is the remarkable story of the author's fascination with the early life of Sir Richard Francis Burton (1821-1890). It is the story of an incredible journey, too - deep into the heart of British India, and the India and Sindh of today. Christopher Ondaatje's Sindh Revisited is the extraordinarily sensitive account of the author's quest to uncover the secrets of the seven years Richard Burton spent in India in the army of the East India Company from 1842 to 1849. "If I wanted to fill the gap in my understanding of Richard Burton, I would have to do something that had never been done before: follow in his footsteps in India...." The journey covered thousands of miles - trekking across deserts where ancient tribes meet modern civilization in the valley of the mighty Indus River. What was it that Burton discovered in India? What was it that changed him from a rebellious, wayward youth into a man of courage, imagination, wisdom and personal power? Through this unique book and the journey it describes, we come nearer than ever before to understanding the mystery of Richard Burton and the devils that drove him.
An "extraordinary biography" (New York Times Book Review) of a brilliant pair of adventurers. Their marriage was both improbable and inevitable. Isabel Arundell was a schoolgirl, the scion of England's most distinguished Catholic family. When she first saw him while walking at a seaside resort, Richard Burton had already made his mark as a linguist (he was fluent in twenty-nine languages), scholar, soldier, and explorer--at once a symbol of Victorian England's vision of empire and an avowed rebel against its mores. When she turned and saw him staring after her, she decided that she would marry him. By their next meeting, Burton had become the first infidel to infiltrate Mecca as one of the faithful, and, in an expedition to discover the source of the Nile, would soon be the first white man to see Lake Tanganyika. After being married, the Burtons traveled and experienced the world, from diplomatic postings in Brazil and Africa to hair-raising adventures in the Syrian desert. In later life Richard courted further controversy as a self-proclaimed erotologist and the translator of The Kama Sutra. Based on previously unavailable archives, Mary Lovell has written a compelling joint biography that sets Isabel in her proper place as Burton's equal in daring and endurance, a fascinating figure in her own right.
Sir Richard Burton was an explorer, linguist, scholar, soldier, anthropologist, and writer. Burton used his own resources to fund expeditions to map new trade routes, identify and catalogue natural resources, and analyze political, religious, and economic systems in foreign countries. He is probably best known for his expeditions with John Hanning Speke to find the source of the Nile, which he accomplished in 1858. He is also known for the first English translations of the "Kama Sutra" and the "Arabian Nights." This biography was written by Burton's niece in an effort to "tell the truth concerning one who can no longer defend himself" and to "supply.the story of a great traveler's life in popular form." It is, simply, quite a journey to follow of one of the 19th century's most intriguing characters.