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Burton: A Biography Of Sir Richard Francis Burton Audio, Cassette – January 2, 1992
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|Audio, Cassette, January 2, 1992||
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Top Customer Reviews
As emphasized by Farwell, Burton is most fascinating in his complexity, in the numerous conflicts that comprised his character. Burton longed to suffer the fevers and hardship associated with an overland caravan, but he could not tolerate (without copious complaints) the minor inconveniences of more civilized travel. Throughout his life, he remained loyal to Queen and Country, while at the same time confrontationally challenging the policies and patients of his supervisors in the Foreign Office. A student of all religions but practitioner of none, he married a woman for whom her God was everything. Burton vigorously sought fame and fortune through his actions and endeavors, but he could never come up with a consistent plan -- instead, he favored get-rich-quick schemes. Eventually, he was knighted and struck it big with his publication of A Thousand Nights and a Night, and then... he died.
Of the Burton biographies that I have studied, Farwell's treatment has certain advantages for the amateur Burtonologist. The prose is well written, fast paced and insightful. The details are ably researched and the author comes off as an unbiased admirer without an agenda beyond trying to understand the Man. Other volumes on Burton, while more dense and scholarly, tend to be a bit more slanted.
Farwell's recount the life and the adventures of this remarkable man is an enjoyable read. The book left me shaking my head and muttering, "unbelievable". If you are interested in this Capt Burton this is the book.
Burton was born in 1821. He had an unconventional upbringing, and he turned out to be a very unconventional man. He was expelled from Oxford and then joined the Honourable East India Company. He loved to travel and observe humanity in all its anthropological diversity. His two most famous excursions were (a) to the forbidden cities of Mecca and Medina, where he went disguised as a Muslim Pathan from Afghanistan, and (b) into East Africa, where he was the first European to discover Lake Tanganyika and just missed being the first to discover Lake Victoria and the source of the Nile. His travels were facilitated by his linguistic skills; he could speak more than twenty-five languages. During his life he wrote and published thirty books and translated or edited another eleven, including what remains one of the leading translations of "The Arabian Nights." In his later years, he served as British Consul in such places as Fernando Po, Dahomey, Brazil, Damascus, and Trieste.
Farwell's BURTON covers the man in moderate detail.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Better than I expected. Very engrossing biography of a complicated man. Burton was always on the verge of greatness, but always seemed to muck it up. Read morePublished 7 months ago by mugshot
ALL AROUND EDUCATED AND CULTURED BADASS OF THE 19TH CENTURY.....HAD A GOOD WIFE TOO!Published 10 months ago by William L Floyd
There are some scoundrals within human history who have provided a service to the growth and development of a lost art, the search for truth according to their own road to such. Read morePublished on September 9, 2013 by Pat
Burton,s life was amazing and his adventures were beyond belief so how come I had such a hard time getting thru this book. Because the author can't tell a story. Read morePublished on April 13, 2009 by J. Carey
Byron Farwell's BURTON- A Biography of Sir Richard Francis Burton brings to life one of the world's great adventurers whose brilliant work in the 19th century encompassed... Read morePublished on February 26, 2009 by Writetrak
Richard Burton was an unparalleled polymath, adventurer, and explorer. Although his morality was questionable, he approached life like few men do. Read morePublished on February 13, 2007 by Stan Barton
Richard Francis Burton lived a fantastic life packed full of enough exploits, adventures, and accomplishments to make any ten men famous. Read morePublished on September 2, 2004 by Theo Logos