RICHARD FRANCIS BURTON
English explorer, scholar, soldier and diplomat (1821-90)
by Raymond John Howgego
Burton was born at Torquay, the son of Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph Netterville Burton and
Martha (née Baker), and spent the first few months of his life at Barham House, near
Elstree, Hertfordshire - the residence of his maternal grandfather. (Note: Burton
maintained that he was born at Barham House, but the Elstree baptismal records give his
place of birth as Torquay.) Before Burton's first birthday the family moved to Tours in
France, but about 1830 they returned to England and settled in Richmond where Burton
entered an obscure preparatory school run by Revd Charles Delafosse. However, within
months his father decided to move the family back to the continent, settling first at
Blois in France, then at Pisa in Italy. In the summer of 1832 they moved to Siena and for
the next few years wandered throughout Italy, staying in Naples, Sorrento, Florence and
Capua. In 1838 the family followed the father to Marseilles and settled for a while at
Pau, but it was not long before the father's restlesness brought the family back to Pisa.
In 1840 Richard Burton was sent to England for his university education and in October
enrolled at Trinity College, Oxford, nominally to prepare himself for a career as a
clergyman. Quite unsuited and ill-prepared for life at Oxford, but enjoying its social
life, he was in 1842 rusticated from the college for attending a horse race. Shortly after
returning to an aunt's house in Hampstead, London, he bribed himself into the army of the
East India Company as a second lieutenant in the 18th Regiment of the Bombay Native
Infantry. After a crash course in Hindustani, and having taught himself a little Arabic,
he sailed from Gravesend on 18.6.42 in the barque "John Knox", bound for India
via the Cape of Good Hope.
BURTON'S TRAVELS IN INDIA
Burton arrived at Bombay (= Mumbai) on 28.10.42 and was posted to Baroda, about 400
kilometres to the north, where he spent much of his time perfecting his knowledge of
Hindustani and Arabic. On 1.1.44 he was posted with his regiment to the newly-conquered
district of Sind, where in the following December he was assigned as one of four
assistants to the Sind Survey under the direction of Captain (later General) WALTER SCOTT
(a nephew of the celebrated author). After spending a few days mastering surveying, he was
sent out on 10.12.44 with six camels and a team of men to survey the Guni river and
several canals. In November 1845 he set out with Captain Scott on a long tour of northern
Sind, but on reaching Larkana he was recalled to his regiment at Rohri on the Indus to
join a march on Multan, then held by the Sikhs. The regiment moved out on 23.2.46, but
after two weeks, on reaching Bahawalpur, it discovered that its services were no longer
needed. On 18.3.46, after a few days back at Rohri, Burton returned with his regiment to
the headquarters at Mohammed Khan Ka Tanda on the Fulayli river. In July 1846 he went down
with cholera and was given two years' sick leave to convalesce in the Nilgiri Hills of
On 20.2.47 Burton boarded a small Indian craft for his journey to southern India and, after halting at Goa for a considerable time to study the old Portuguese monuments, reached his sanatorium in the Nilgiri Hills. There he remained for four months, studying the Dravidian languages and continuing his work on Arabic and Persian. He left on 1.9.47 and, after a few days in Calicut, returned to Bombay where on 15.10.47 he passed an official examination in Persian. Re-assigned to the Sind Survey, he sailed for Karachi, but when ophthalmia prevented thorough involvement in the work of the survey he turned his attention to the study of languages and religion. He mastered a little Sindhi, Jatki and Punjabi, improved his Arabic, and began a study of Islam, memorizing 50,000 words of the Koran. He became strongly attracted to Sufism and was made a "Kamil" or Master Sufi, then studied the Sikh religion, into which he was initiated by an old priest. He frequently roamed the country in disguise and at one time fell seriously in love with a beautiful Persian girl of noble birth. By May 1848 he had passed examinations in six Indian languages and had become the first army officer to speak fluent Punjabi. His first published work, a translation of 'Pilpay's Fables' from the Hindustani, had appeared in 1847, but in the following year he attempted to publish a report on pederasty in Karachi. Unfortunately, his seniors found the report pornographic and highly offensive, and certainly not something one would expect from an English army officer. Although allowed to remain in the army, all roads to future advancement were now blocked. Still weak from his bout of cholera, tormented by ophthalmia, and heartbroken that his career seemed to be at an end, Burton sailed from Bombay and returned to England.
Burton settled in England to begin his career as a writer, publishing three popular narratives of his travels in the first year (1851). A major study of falconry in the Indus valley, published the following year, proved less popular and in twenty-five years sold only 243 of the original 500 copies. His pamphlet "A Complete System of Bayonet Exercise" (1853) earned him a reprimand from the army but was later, after payment of one shilling for its copyright, adopted as an official text. In 1851 the Burton family moved to Boulogne, and it was there that he met his future wife, the twenty-year-old Isabell Arundell (see below). Burton soon tired of life in Europe and in the autumn of 1852 offered his services to the Royal Geographical Society to explore the unmapped regions of eastern and central Arabia. His proposal was that, disguised as a Moslem pilgrim, he would cross Arabia, either directly or diagonally, visit the holy cities, and obtain information on the Rub al Khali, the vast area of sand desert in the southeast of the Arabian peninsula. However, having little interest in geography, his only real ambition was to enter Mecca (Makkah) and Medina (Al Madinah), and to this end he fervently studied the narratives of those that had preceded him. After interviews with the Royal Geographical Society and the chairman of the the East India Company, Burton was granted one year's leave to study Arabic 'in lands where the language is best learned'. A crossing of the Arabian peninsula was ruled out on the grounds that it was too dangerous.
THE PILGRIMAGE TO MECCA AND MEDINA
On 3.4.53, disguised as a Pathan (modern Pashtun) to account for any oddities in
speech, and taking the name Mirza Abdullah, Burton boarded the steamer "Bengal"
for Alexandria, taking with him his 'English interpreter', a Bengal Lancer named Captain
HENRY GRINDLAY. On arrival he went by donkey to the home of John Thurburn, the
father-in-law of an old friend, where he prepared himself for the pilgrimage to Mecca.
From there he took a Nile steamer to Cairo and a camel to Suez, and on 6.7.53 took passage
on the dhow "Silk al-Zahab", bound for Yenbo (Yanbu' al Bahr) with ninety-seven
pilgrims. Calling en route at Al Muwaylih and Al Wajh (14.7.53), and after several
adventures on board, Burton reached Yenbo on 18.7.53 and with his pilgrim friends
bargained for camels to take him to Medina. In the evening, with a caravan of twelve
camels, he set out into the desert, halting at Al Hamra where he joined a larger caravan
on its way from Mecca to Medina. On arrival in Medina on 24.7.53 he was invited into the
house one Hamid, a fellow traveller, who became his guide to the holy places.
Burton remained a week in Medina, and on 31.8.53 departed with a Damascus caravan for Mecca. Drawing close to the holy city on 9.9.53, Burton and his companions performed the ceremony of "al-ihram", shaving the head, bathing and donning the pilgrim's clothes, and on the following morning he saw for the first time the Kaaba - the object of his mission and the symbol of his success. He spent six days in Mecca, performing all the rituals expected of a pilgrim, but his money began to run out and, despite warnings tribal unrest, resolved to return to Egypt via Jiddah.
Arriving at Jiddah after a seventeen-hour dash on camelback, he made contact with the British vice-consul, Charles Cole, and, after secretly revealing his identity, was permitted to cash a draft for money from the Royal Geographical Society. On 26.9.53 he took a first-class passage on the English ship "Dwarka" to Suez, and from there returned to Cairo. After a few weeks in Cairo, rather than returning to England, Burton sailed for India to join his regiment in Bombay. He stayed at the house of James Grant Lumsden, a senior member of the Bombay Council, and there wrote his three-volume "Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah and Meccah", which was published in 1855-56. He also began work on "El Islam", a major treatise on the subject, but the work was never completed and only fragments survive. Unwilling to return to the routine of regimental life he now petitioned the directors of the East India Company for permission to visit northeast Africa, to travel in Somali country and visit the legendary walled city of Harar. Through the influence of Lumsden the venture was immediately approved, with the provision that Burton should go at his own risk and without government protection.
THE EXPEDITION TO HARAR
For his expedition to Somalia, Burton selected three officers: Lieutenant WILLIAM
STROYAN of the Indian Navy whom Burton had worked with in Sind; Lieutenant G.E. HERNE of
the 1st Bombay European Infantry, a man skilled in photography and surveying; and
Assistant Surgeon J.E. STOCKS. Stocks died of 'apoplexy' shortly before departure, but
Burton, Stroyan and Herne sailed for Aden, arriving on 1.10.54. At Aden, to fill the place
left vacant by Stocks, a young lieutenant, JOHN HANNING SPEKE,
was taken on. On the recommendation of James Outram, the British resident at Aden, Burton
would proceed alone to Harar while his fellow officers would carry out geographical
explorations nearer the coast. Herne was sent to Berbera, joined in January 1855 by
Stroyan, to assess the state of commerce and the caravan routes, and to visit the coastal
mountains, while Speke was landed at Arz Al-Aman to explore the Wadi Nogal (Nugaal) which
was reputed to be gold-bearing. (Speke, after travelling a short distance through the
mountains of northern Somalia, was forced to return to Aden in January 1855 due to the
treachery of his guide.) Burton, in Arab disguise, took a small steamer from Aden on
29.10.54 and landed at Zayla (Zeila, now Saylac) two days later to spend a month studying
Somali customs and language. Leaving Zayla on 27.11.54 with a party of nine, including two
female cooks and five camels, he moved directly westward, passing through the village of
Wilensi (Welensi) on 27.12.54 and entering the city of Harar on 13.1.55. An interview with
Sultn Ahmad bin Abu Bakr, the amir of Harar, passed peaceably and Burton revealed his
identity as an Englishman. In the city he was spied upon constantly, but during his ten
days in Harar he learnt much from local scholars. Leaving Harar on 13.1.55 with two
companions, Burton returned to Wilensi, where he spent a week writing up his notes, and
arrived back on the coast at Bulhar (= Bullaxaar), then a deserted ruin, on 10.1.55.
Another day brought him to Berbera, where Herne and Stroyan were waiting for him. The
three explorers arrived back in Aden on 12.2.55, Speke having returned a few weeks
Back in Aden, Burton now proposed a more ambitious expedition: a trek to the Nile from the Somali coast. Two months were spent in preparation, and in early April 1855 Burton, Speke, Herne and Stroyan returned to Berbera in the East India Company schooner "Mahi" and on 7.4.55 set up camp outside the city. On 18.4.55, having survived an electric storm which opened the Somali monsoon period, the camp came under severe attack by Somali tribesmen. Burton, Speke and Herne narrowly escaped with their lives, but Stroyan was killed by a spear through the heart. The proposed expedition was immediately abandoned and the three survivors, carrying Stroyan's corpse, staggered into Berbera and took ship for Aden. Stroyan, his body decomposing too rapidly for removal to Aden, was buried at sea. Burton returned to England in May 1855 and, after reading a paper to the Royal Geographical Society, volunteered for service in the Crimean War. By way of Marseille and Constantinople he arrived at Balaklava to be appointed chief of staff of a contingent of Turkish irregular cavalry. He remained in the Crimea until the end of the war in February 1856.
ISABEL BURTON (1831-96) was born in London, the eldest daughter of eleven children of Henry Raymond Arundell, a wine merchant, and Eliza (née Gerard). The family had moved to Furze Hall, Ingatestone, Essex, where Isabel had been educated until the age of sixteen at the Convent of the Canonesses at New Hall, Chelmsford. Like her future husband she longed for adventure and the outdoor life, and often mingled with local gypsies. She first met and fell in love with Richard Burton in 1852 but for the next nine years had to be content with letters and the occasional meeting. The couple were finally married, against the wishes of Isabel's mother, in January 1861. For the next four years the couple met only when Burton returned to England, or when they could holiday together in the Canary Islands. Isabel's first more distant excursion came in 1865 when she was able to join her husband in Brazil. She subsequently accompanied her husband to Damascus and Trieste, and followed him to Egypt. After her husband's death in 1890, condemned by Burton's family for burying her husband as a Catholic, and reviled by the public and press for burning his papers, she lived in reduced economic circumstances in Baker Street, London. She died of cancer in March 1896.
Returning from the Crimean War in February 1856, Burton immediately began reviving
plans for an expedition to move overland from the east coast of Africa to the Nile. By
April he had resolved not just to reach the Nile, but to go in search of its source,
believing it to lie in one of the great lakes reputed to lie in the heart of Central
Africa. However, on the advice of the German explorer Heinrich Barth, Burton decided not
to commit himself to the discovery of the Nile's source, instead volunteering to seek the
'Sea of Ujiji' (i.e. Lake Tanganyika) which had been reported by Arab traders. The Royal
Geographical Society approved the project, the government granted £1000, and the East
India Company gave Burton two years' leave on full pay. In the company of JOHN HANNING
SPEKE (q.v.), whom Burton had selected to accompany him on the expedition, Burton sailed
for Bombay, arriving on 23.11.56. After making the necessary preparations and obtaining
supplies and equipment, and obtaining the services of two Goan boys, VALENTINO RODRIGUES
and CAETANO ANDRADE, they sailed in an East India Company sloop on 2.12.56 and arrived in
Zanzibar on 20.12.56.
THE PANGANI RIVER EXCURSION
After a prolonged delay in Zanzibar, during which Burton collected intelligence of
conditions on the mainland, Burton, Speke, the two Goan boys and a small company of
Africans, sailed on 5.1.57 to Pemba and then to Mombasa, landing on 16.1.57. From there,
Burton and Speke visited the mission of the traveller Johannes Rebmann at Rabai, but
Rebmann declined their offer to accompany the expedition. After a week in Mombasa they
moved down the coast to Tanga, then Pangani, and ascended the Pangani river to Chogwe and
marched overland to Tongwe, a village to the north of the river. Reaching Korogwe they
marched along the banks of the Ruvu river to Fuga, but arrived there in mid-February just
as the rainy season was setting in. This minor excursion, which had no apparent objective
and accomplished little except to bring Burton and Speke down with fever and dysentery,
was abandoned in Fuga, and by 6.4.57 Burton and Speke were back in Zanzibar. On 11.5.57,
when they had recovered their health, they set out from Zanzibar on a coastal expedition
to collect information on certain subjects of special interest to the secretary of the
Bombay Geographical Society: the coastal limestone formations and the existence of copal,
which was used in making varnishes and lacquers. This expedition returned to Zanzibar
after a short time.
THE DISCOVERY OF LAKE TANGANYIKA
The outward journey
On 17.6.57, Burton and Speke finally left Zanzibar to begin their search for the 'Sea of Ujiji'. They landed at Kaol (just south of Bagamoyo), engaged thirty-six Unyamwezi natives and bought thirty baggage asses, onto which they loaded vast quantities of scientific instruments, stationery, weapons and ammunition, tool boxes, articles of trade and gifts of friendship. An iron boat, brought in sections for navigation on the lake, was abandoned because of its weight. Moving westward through the coastal jungle, both Speke and Burton went down with fever, and by 14.7.57, about 180 kilometres from the coast, Burton had become so weak he could no longer walk. On 21.7.57 they stopped to rest for three days while Burton wrote his first report for the Royal Geographical Society. They stopped again at a slave caravan station called Zungomero (near Morogoro), this time for nine days, to recover and secure porters. Plagued by foul weather, desertions, and diffficulties in controlling the caravan, and by fever which left them so weak they could barely continue, Burton and Speke pressed forward on 7.8.57 into the Usagara Hills. For the next month they proceeded across the hills, finally emerging on 18.9.57 into the plains of Ugogo. On 7.11.57 the expedition arrived at Tabora, the principal inland city. (Burton called the place Kazeh, but no reason could be discovered by later explorers for this choice of name.) The expedition remained in Tabora for five weeks, enjoying the hospitality of the Arabs, and departed on 14.12. 57 for the final stage of the journey. On 18.1.58 Burton was struck down with a sickness that paralysed his arms and legs and brought him close to death, and a week later Speke fell prey to to an eye infection which rendered him almost totally blind. Both had to be carried for much of the way by their porters, but neither gave any thought to abandoning the expedition. On 13.2.58, after struggling to the top of a hill, Speke's ass collapsed and died. The following day, 14.2.58, after a journey of seven and a half months, they entered Ujiji on the shore of Lake Tanganyika. Burton's first concern was to procure a boat to explore the lake, but when none could be had locally Speke was sent across the lake by canoe to obtain a dhow from an Arab trader. Speke returned on 29.3.58 after a gruelling trip on the lake and in poor physical condition, the side of his face distorted by a tumour which made him almost deaf and made chewing impossible. Nevertheless, he had gained important intelligence about a large river that flowed northward out of the lake. On 10.4.58, Burton and Speke set out in two canoes to explore the lake, arriving at Uvira, on a peninsula of the northwestern shore, on 26.4.58. Although only 30 kilometres from the mouth of the important Ruzizi river, no escort could be found to take them to it, so feared were the ferocious tribes that lived along its banks. Burton and Speke had no choice except to return to Ujiji, where they arrived on 13.5.58. No attempt was made to explore the southern section of the lake, with the result that Burton severely underestimated its length at 400 kilometres, nearly 250 kilometres short of its true size.
Speke's discovery of Lake Victoria
Burton and Speke left Ujiji on 28.5.58 and made their way back to Tabora where they arrived on 20.6.58. On the outward journey they had heard reports of another great lake, called Ukerewe (now Lake Victoria), which lay to the north of Tabora, and after some discussion it was decided that Speke should make his way alone to the north to investigate the rumours. (It is generally recognised that Burton wanted to have time to himself to gather information from the Arabs at Tabora, and did not believe that Speke would make a discovery of any importance. This was a mistake he would live to regret.) Speke departed Tabora on 9.6.58, heading directly north with twenty porters and a guard of ten Beluchi. Crossing Unyambewa country, the expedition proceeded without incident, reaching the village of Ukuni on 18.6.58, beyond which the landscape became greener and the going easier. On 30.7.58 he caught first sight of Lake Ukerewe, and for the next two days made his way down a small creek which suddenly broadened into a vast archipelago. On 3.8.58, climbing to the top of a hill near Muanza (Mwanza), he saw the vast expanse of the lake, which extended in all directions as far as the eye could see. The following day, from the top of what he named Observatory Hill, he took careful bearings of the major topographical features. Neither of the local sultans could supply boats or, fearing the savageness of the lakeside tribes, assist in the exploration of the lake, and no intelligence could be gained of the extent of the lake to the north. After three days near the lake, Speke set out for Tabora and without incident arrived back with Burton on 26.8.58.
The return journey
Speke and Burton had already grown tired of each others' company, but Speke's discovery now strained the relationship almost to breaking point. While Burton lounged in the comfort of his Arab friends talking about Lake Ukerewe, Speke had actually been there and discovered it. Speke's suggestion that they should return to the lake together was unacceptable, effectively placing Burton in a subordinate role, and, more significantly, both men now harboured ambitions to be the first to discover the source of the Nile. Re-engaging their guides and hiring 132 porters, Speke and Burton left Tabora on 6.9.58 for the march to the coast. Two weeks later, Speke was struck down by another illness, but he recovered and on 5.12.58 the expedition met with a large caravan carrying letters from home. On 14.1.59 another caravan was encountered with medical supplies and drugs Burton had requested in a letter sent eighteen months earlier. On 2.2.59 the expedition arrived on the coast at the village of Konduchi, about 15 kilometres north of modern Dar es Salaam. However, rather than return directly to Zanzibar, Burton sent a note to the British consul asking for a coasting vessel and provisions so that a brief exploration could be made of the hitherto unexplored Rufiji river, some 150 kilometres to the south. The boat arrived on 9.2.59, and the following day Burton and Speke sailed for Kilwa Kisiwani. En route they called at Kwale and Mafia islands, but found the Rufiji swollen and flooded by torrential rain. Even worse, Kilwa was in grip of a cholera epidemic which had already wiped out half the population. After inspecting nearby Portuguese and Arab ruins, Burton and Speke beat a hasty retreat to Zanzibar, arriving on 4.3.59 only to find that cholera was sweeping that island too. Burton and Speke sailed for Aden on 22.3.59, arriving on 16.4.59. The two explorers returned separately to London, Speke arriving on 8.5.59. Burton reached London thirteen days later, only to find that his discovery of Lake Tanganyika had already been overshadowed by an unsupported announcement that Speke had discovered the source of the Nile. Speke had become a national hero, while Burton was all but forgotten. In April 1860, Speke and his companion James Grant left for Africa to carry out a more thorough investigation of Lake Victoria, and in the same month Burton left England for a vacation tour of North America.
THE NORTH AMERICAN TOUR
On 21.4.60 Burton boarded the SS "Canada" for a tour of North America, in
particular to visit Salt Lake City, the Mormon 'City of the Saints'. The opening phase of
his tour is not covered in his printed works but may be pieced together from letters sent
home. Disembarking at Halifax, Nova Scotia, he toured Canada as far as Montreal, crossed
Vermont to Salem and Boston, then took a wide circle through New York State and Ohio
(visiting Niagara) to arrive eventually in New York City. From New York he proceeded to
Philadelphia and Baltimore, and to Washington where he visited Secretary of War John B.
Floyd to obtain letters of introduction to military commanders in the Far West. Continuing
through the southern states, he arrived at New Orleans in early August 1860. Burton's
published journal begins on 7.8.60 when he boarded a stage coach at St Joseph, Montana,
for the trip to Salt Lake City. His route took him through Troy, Syracuse and Fort Kearny,
and on 28.8.60 brought him to Salt Lake City where he spent three weeks among the Mormons.
Departing on 19.9.60, he continued westward through Carson City (19.10.60), Virginia City
and Sacramento, then took an eight-hour trip downriver to San Francisco, arriving on
5.11.60. On 15.11.60, after a visit to Yosemite, he boarded a steamer for Acapulco
(28.11.60) and Panama (15.11.60), and on 18.12.60 took the train across the isthmus to
Aspinwall (now Colón). Unable to linger due to the prompt arrival of a suitable ship, he
left Aspinwall the following day, changed ships at St Thomas in the West Indies, and was
back in London by the end of the year. In a hundred days in the western states he had
amassed enough information to fill a 700-page book and even felt qualified enough to edit
a guide-book to the west, Randolph Marcy's "The Prairie Traveller". In January
1861 he finally married Isabel Arundell, much against the wishes of her mother who had
kept Burton at a distance for the past nine years.
FERNANDO PO AND THE ADJACENT COASTS
Burton now sought a diplomatic position, particularly that of consul in Damascus. His
requests were declined, but as compensation he was offered a consulship on the island of
Fernando Po (now Bioco and part of Equatorial Guinea). Despite its reputation as the
'graveyard of consuls' (the region under its jurisdiction included the highly malarial
coasts around the Bight of Biafra), Burton accepted the post and sailed on 24.8.61.
Stopping at no less than twenty-four West African ports en route, the voyage took over a
month but gave Burton plenty of opportunity to take notes. Arriving at Fernando Po on
27.9.61, he lingered no more than a week before setting off to visit the Niger delta.
Returning to his island on 2.10.61, he departed again within days to see something of
Cameroon, Nigeria and (probably) Dahomey, with short excursions inland. In November 1861
he embarked on a third excursion, visiting the coasts opposite Fernando Po and, in the
company of a young botanist, GUSTAV MANN, explored the Cameroon Mountains, naming three
peaks Mt Isabel, Mt Selim and Mt Milnes. Burton returned to his island on 4.3.62, only to
spend the next six weeks confronting an outbreak of yellow fever. In March 1862 he sailed
for Gabon to look for gorillas, anchoring at Libreville on 17.3.62. After a short
reconnaissance into the coastal jungles (which failed to turn up any gorillas), he boarded
a 20-ton schooner to ascend the Gabon river in search of the Fan people (also called Fang,
Fanwe, Fahouin and Pangwe) who were believed to be cannibals. He spent a week with the
Fan, concluded that their cannibalism was something of a myth, and returned to the coast
on 17.4.62. Burton intensely disliked Fernando Po itself and took every opportunity to
visit the mainland. In August 1862 he went to Benin City, and on occasions he would slip
away on a merchant ship to meet his wife in the Canary Islands. Even so, Isabel's misery
and loneliness resulted in an appeal to the Foreign Office that Burton should be recalled,
and by December 1862 he was back in England.
THE MISSION TO DAHOMEY
Burton's term at Fernando Po was not yet over, and on 24.1.63 he sailed again,
accompanied by his wife as far as Tenerife and en route spending a month on the island of
Madeira. At Fernando Po at the end of July 1863 he boarded HMS "Torch" for a
voyage down the coast to Loango, and from there took another ship to Luanda in Angola. On
22.8.63 he took a third ship to the mouth of the Congo and, travelling overland and by
small boat, made his way up river as far as the first cataract. On the point of preparing
yet another overland trip he received news that he had been appointed Her Majesty's
Commissioner to Dahomey (now Benin). From Banana, at the mouth of the Congo, he sailed on
27.9.63 back to Fernando Po, collected his belongings, boarded HMSS "Antelope"
on 29.11.63, and anchored off Ouidah on 5.12.63. He arrived at Kana (Kanna or Kama, a
little south of Abomey), the residence of King Gelele, on 18.12.63. Two days later he
moved on to Abomey, the Dahomean capital, followed by the king and his suite. Burton
quickly mastered the Fon language and made a study of Gelele's army, which consisted of
2500 women soldiers. However, his attempts to explore the country were restricted by
Gelele who kept his guests as virtual prisoners. Burton remained in Abomey only until
February 1864. Escaping to Ouidah on 18.2.64, he boarded a waiting warship, toured the
coastal rivers and returned to Fernando Po. In August 1864 he left his consulate for home
leave in England where Isabel had been pressing the Foreign Office for a better position
for her husband. Her pleas for a higher post, such as ambassador to Turkey or Morocco were
turned down, but as a compromise the Foreign Office appointed Burton consul at Santos, in
TRAVELS IN SOUTH AMERICA
On 10.5.65, accompanied by his wife, Burton sailed for Portugal on the first stage of
his voyage to South America. After a brief tour of the country they parted company at
Lisbon, Richard boarding HMS "Serpent" for Brazil and Isabel returning to
England to finalise affairs in London. After a few weeks she took ship to follow her
husband to Brazil, and on 9.10.65 the couple were reunited at Santos. Despite having been
ordered to Santos, the Burtons soon removed to São Paulo where they rented and
redecorated an old convent. During 1866 the Burton's remained mainly around Santos with
occasional visits to Rio de Janeiro, but in June 1867 they left Rio for a three-month tour
of Minas Gerais. Together they visited the gold mining districts and, in August, at Morro
Velho (near Belo Horizonte) descended the deepest mine in the province. While Isabel
returned to Rio after spraining her ankle, Richard made a 2000-kilometre descent of the
Rio São Francisco by raft. A serious illness, contracted in April 1868 and diagnosed as
'congestion of the liver combined with inflammation of the lung, where they join', forced
Burton's temporary resignation from the consular service but, instead of returning to
England, he set out to observe the killing-fields of the bitter and bloody Paraguayan War.
Leaving São Paulo, he arrived at Montevideo on 6.8.68, crossed to Buenos Aires after ten
days, then ascended the Paraná to Rosario. Three days later he continued upstream to
Humaitá, in Paraguay, the scene of one of the great battles of the war. He then made his
way slowly back to Buenos Aires, arriving on 20.9.68.
Some time after his arrival in Buenos Aires, Burton set out with WILLIAM CONSTABLE MAXWELL - a friend he had met on the voyage up the Paraná - to explore northern Argentina. This journey is one of the few not recorded in any of Burton's publications and only the barest outlines can be pieced together. They visited Córdoba, then with a Major IGNACIO RICKARD, they explored the virtually unknown Sierra de San Luiz and visited the scene of the terrible earthquake that had virtually destroyed the town of Mendoza on 20.3.61. Burton and Maxwell then crossed the Andes, about December 1868, through the Upsallata Pass into Chile, rested in Santiago, then continued to Valparaíso where they boarded a ship to Lima, Peru. There, in February 1869, Burton unexpectedly received the news that, through the efforts of Isabel, he had been appointed to the consular post at Damascus. Boarding the first ship available, he immediately returned to Buenos Aires via the Strait of Magellan, arriving on 29.3.69 to desptach a letter to London accepting the post. However, rather than returning directly to London, Burton took the extraordinary decision to revisit the battlefields of Paraguay. Embarking on the "Proveedor" on 4.4.69, he ascended the Paraná to Rosario, Corrientes and Humaitá, then went up the Rio Tebicuari to inspect the battlefield of Lomas Valentinas. He spent two days in Asunción (13-15.4.69), then returned to Buenos Aires to embark for England. He docked at Southampton on 1.6.69 and shortly after was reunited with his wife who had left Brazil eleven months earlier.
DAMASCUS, ICELAND AND INDIA REVISITED
After a recuperative holiday with his wife in France, Burton went to Brindisi to take
ship for Beirut, arriving there on 1.10.69. Two days later he took up his consulship in
Damascus where he was joined by Isabel at the end of the month. For the next eighteen
months he travelled widely in Syria and Palestine, but his actions, particularly an
alleged attempt to raise the Druze into revolt against Turkish rule, brought critical
letters to London from the Turkish government. In August 1871 he was removed from office
and spent the next year in England. In May 1872, on behalf of a private sulphur-mining
company, he set out for Iceland and, after stopping briefly in the Orkneys and Shetlands,
landed at Reykjavik on 8.6.72. Burton spent only three months in Iceland but accumulated
enough information to fill a 794-page book on the island. In September 1872 he received a
somewhat less sensitive position as British consul at Trieste, which he occupied until the
end of 1875. Shortly after returning to England the Burtons embarked on 31.12.75 for a
visit to India, sailing by way of Jidda and arriving at Bombay on 2.2.76. They then
proceeded to Hyderabad, returned to Bombay, made a brief tour of Sind, then on 22.4.76
sailed for Goa. In May they embarked for Suez and, after another sixteen days in Egypt,
returned to England.
BURTON'S EXPLORATIONS IN THE LAND OF MIDIAN
About this time, Burton became increasingly interested in a story he had heard from
Haji Wali, an old friend on the Mecca pilgrimage. Wali had maintained that he had once
found gold in a wadi on the eastern shores of the Red Sea in the land known in ancient
times as Midian. During his few days in Egypt in May 1876, Burton tried to seek out Haji
Wali but, being unsuccessful, returned to England. Burton had requested an audience with
the khedive, Ismail I, to develop his interest in Midian gold, but it was only in March
1877 that the khedive eventually responded, by which time Burton was on a tour of Austria.
On 3.3.77, Burton sailed from Triese for Egypt, confident that after a personal conference
with the khedive he would be able to start at once on an expedition. In Cairo, Burton
actually managed to locate Haji Wali, now an old man of eighty-two, and after some
deliberation the khedive gave his blessing to the venture. Three Egyptian officers and a
French mining engineer joined the expedition, as well as a steamer named
"Sinnar". The expedition spent three weeks on the northeastern coasts of the Red
Sea, but after such a long period (tewnty-four years) Haji Wali was not at all certain
precisely where he had found gold. Although the country was found to be rich in other
metals, and a little gold was found on the Jebel al Abyab, inland from Sharmah, the
expedition was a failure. Burton returned to Cairo with boxes of stone and gravel, none of
which contained much gold, but his arrival was overshadowed by the confusion which had
followed Russia's declaration of war on Turkey. Burton remained in Egypt for a few days
then took ship to Trieste, arriving on 12.5.77.
After wandering restlessly through southern Europe, Burton sailed from Trieste on 19.10.77 for a second expedition to Midian. The khedive had now run seriously short of money to pay his officers and civil servants, and he looked to Burton's enterprise as a means towards replenishing the coffers. After some delay, Burton, accompanied by a hundred men, sailed from Suez on 10.12.78, disembarked at El Muwailih nine days later, and trekked inland to Jebel al Abyab. Thirty quarrymen collected a ton of stone, brought it back to the coast, crushed and washed it, but found no gold. In January 1878 the expedition moved into new territory looking or other minerals, and in February ventured into Al Hisma, behind the coastal mountains, but conflict with local tribesmen caused the party to retreat to the coast. On 29.3.78, with a caravan of fifty-eight camels, the expedition set out for Umm Harb, and at a place called Umm el Karayat discovered caves which Burton was convinced were ancient gold mines. Burton returned to the coast on 10.4.78 and at Suez six days later met up with Isabel whose intention had been to join her husband in Midian. The six tons of rock extracted by the expedition were taken to Cairo by special train (which broke down and caught fire three times), and an exhibition of the results of the enterprise was displayed in Cairo. A report of the geographical discoveries were presented to the khedive, and in July 1878 the Burtons returned to England.
THE EXPEDITION TO GUINEA
Burton went back to Egypt in January 1880, but about May returned to Trieste and his
mountain retreat at Opicina. In September 1881 the Burtons attended a geographical
conference in Vienna where they encountered VERNEY LOVETT CAMERON (q.v.), the explorer who
five years earlier had become the first European to cross Africa from east to west. In
Vienna, Burton and Cameron formulated plans to visit West Africa on behalf of a firm
called the Guinea Coast Gold Mining Company, the director of which was James Irvine, a
Liverpool merchant whom Burton had first met at Fernando Po. Cameron and the Burtons then
went to Trieste, from where Cameron sailed to England to gather his equipment. Richard
Burton departed Trieste for the Gold Coast (= Ghana) on 18.11.81, stopped for a week in
Lisbon, then proceeded to Madeira where Cameron joined him. They reached Axim on 25.1.82,
explored the coastal region and the Ancobra river, and soon came to the conclusion that
the country was full of gold and other precious materials, diamonds, rubies and sapphires.
While Cameron surveyed the concessions, Burton dealt with the tribal chiefs and settled
the legal claims. On 4.3.82 both men went down with sickness, returned to the coast and
separated, Cameron returning inland and Burton revisiting Fernando Po and the adjacent
coasts. The two men met up again at Madeira on 12.5.82 and together sailed back to
Liverpool, arriving eight days later.
Burton would undertake no further expeditions outside Europe. His last years were spent with his wife commuting between London and other European capitals and, when not on the move, residing mainly in Trieste. For much of this time Burton worked on his translation of "The Arabian Nights", publishing the first ten volumes privately between 1885 and 1886, and a further six supplemental volumes between 1886 and 1888. Isabel, who always had some misgivings about the rather bold nature of the material, mailed no less than 34,000 circulars to potential subscribers. (An expurgated edition, titled "Lady Burton's Edition of her Husband's Arabian Nights", was published for more general consumption in 1886.) During his last days Burton worked on an enlarged translation of an Arabic book on sexual intercourse called "The Scented Garden". On 20.10.90, at Trieste, having just completed the final page, he died. Immediately following his death, Isabel burned his diaries and current manuscripts, and in 1893 published a 2-volume account of his life, depicting him as a faithful husband and a wronged and misunderstood adventurer. Rebuffed as unfit to be buried in Westminster Abbey with Livingstone, Burton was interred under a marble Arab tent in the Catholic cemetery at Mortlake, London.
Bibliography of all known freestanding publications and reprints
Travels in 1842-1855
Burton, Richard Francis, Goa, and the Blue Mountains; or, six months of sick leave
(London 1851; Berkeley, CA 1991).
[Burton, Richard Francis], The first four chapters of Goa and the Blue Mountains... With the articles which recently appeared in the Madras Mail and Madras Times on the coming Exposition at Goa (Madras 1890).
Burton, Richard Francis, Scinde: or the unhappy valley (London 1851, 2 vols).
Burton, Richard Francis, Sindh, and the races that inhabit the valley of the Indus (London 1851; Karachi 1973; Hindi trans., Hyderabad 1976).
Burton, Richard Francis, Falconry in the valley of the Indus (London 1852; Karachi 1997).
Burton, Richard Francis, Personal narrative of a pilgrimage to El-Medinah and Meccah (London 1855-56, 3 vols; London 1857, 2 vols; London & Belfast 1879; 'Memorial Edition' [the most complete with all 8 appendices], London 1893, 2 vols; London 1898, 1906, 1915, 1919, 1924, 1937; New York 1964; London & Geneva 1969; London 1986; New Delhi 1994; Folio Society, London 2004; Leipzig 1874 [in English]; Spanish trans., 1860).
Burton, Richard Francis, The guide-book. A pictorial pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina (London 1865 [a guide book to an exhibition of paintings, etc. arranged by the Royal Polytechnic Institution. 58 pages]).
Burton, Richard Francis, First footsteps in East Africa; or an exploration of Harar (London 1856, 1894, 1910, 1924; ed. by Gordon Waterfield, London 1966; 'Memorial Edition', London 1986; New York 1987).
R: Ondaatje, Christopher, Sindh revisited: a journey in the footsteps of Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton: 1842-1849, the India years (Toronto 1996).
Ralli, Augustus, Christians at Mecca (London 1909).
Travels in 1857-59
Burton, Richard Francis, The lake regions of Central Africa. A picture of exploration
(London 1860, 2 vols; New York 1860; ed. by Alan Moorehead, New York & London 1961;
St. Clair Shores, MI 1971; Folio Society, London 1993; New York & London 1995; French
trans. by Mme H. Loreau, Paris 1862).
Burton, Richard Francis, The Nile basin. Part I. Showing Tanganyika to be Ptolemy's western lake reservoir [by Burton]; Part II. Captain Speke's discovery of the source of the Nile [by James M'Queen] (London 1864; New York & London 1967).
Burton, Richard Francis, Zanzibar: city, island, and coast (London 1872, 2 vols; New York 1967).
[Burton, Richard Francis], The search for the source of the Nile: correspondence between Captain Richard Burton, Captain John Speke and others, from Burton's unpublished East African letter book; together with other related letters and papers in the collection of Quentin Keynes, Esq. (Roxburghe Club, London 1999).
R: Cooley, William Desborough, The Memoir on the Lake Regions of East Africa, reviewed, in reply to Capt. R. Burton's letter in the Athenaeum, no. 1899 (London 1864).
[Burton, Richard Francis], Alla ricerca delle sorgenti del Nilo e nel centro dell'Africa : viaggi celebri di Burton, Speke, Grant, Baker, Livingstone, Stanley (Milan 1878).
Travels in 1859-1869
Burton, Richard Francis, The City of the Saints and across the Rocky Mountains to
California (London 1861, 1862; New York 1862; ed. By Fawn M. Brodie, New York 1963, London
1964; New York 1971; Ann Arbor 1975; University of Colorado 1990; [selections] as The look
of the West, 1860: across the plains to California, University of Nebraska 1977).
Murphy, Randolph B. & Burton, Richard Francis (ed.), The prairie traveller, a handbook for overland expeditions (London 1863).
Burton, Richard Francis, Abeokuta and the Camaroons Mountains (London 1863, 2 vols).
Burton, Richard Francis, Wanderings in West Africa from Liverpool to Fernando Po (London 1863, 2 vols; New York & London 1991).
Burton, Richard Francis, A mission to Gelele, King of Dahome (London 1864, 2 vols [2 edns]; London 1893; ed. by C.W. Newbury, London & New York 1966).
Burton, Richard Francis, Wit and wisdom from West Africa: or, a book of proverbial philosophy, idioms, enigmas, and laconisms (London 1865; Westport, CT 1969; New York 1969).
Burton, Richard Francis, The highlands of Brazil; with a full account of the gold and diamond mines. Also, canoeing down 1500 miles of the great river São Francisco, from Sabará to the sea (London 1869, 2 vols; New York 1969; Portuguese trans. by Américo Jacobina Lacombe, São Paulo 1941; São Paulo & Belo Horizonte 1976-77, 2 vols; São Paulo 1983, 3 vols).
Burton, Richard Francis, Letters from the battle-fields of Paraguay (London 1870; Spanish trans., Buenos Aires 1998).
Burton, Richard Francis, Two trips to gorilla land and the catarcts of the Congo (London 1876, 2 vols; New York 1967).
R: Cordiviola, Alfredo, Richard Burton: a traveller in Brazil, 1865-1868 (Lewiston, NY 2000).
Hale, Richard Walden, Sir Richard F. Burton: a footnote to history. Being an account of his trip from St. Jo, August 7, 1860, to Salt Lake City (Boston 1930 [11 pages]).
McLynn, Frank, From the Sierras to the Pampas: Richard Burton's travels in the Americas 1860-69 (London 1991).
Rainy, William, The censor censured, or the calumnies of Captain Burton on the Africans of Sierra Leone refuted (London 1865).
Travels in 1869-1882
Burton, Richard Francis, Unexplored Syria (London 1871, 2 vols).
Burton, Richard Francis, Ultima Thule; or a summer in Iceland (London 1875, 2 vols).
Burton, Richard Francis, Sind revisited (London 1877, 2 vols; Karachi 1993).
Burton, Richard Francis, The gold-mines of Midian and the ruined Midianite cities. A fortnight's tour in Western Arabia (London 1878; Naples & Cambridge 1979; Mineola, NY 1995).
Burton, Richard Francis, The land of Midian (revisited) (London 1879, 2 vols; Cambridge 1984).
Burton, Richard Francis & Cameron, Verney Lovett (q.v.), To the Gold Coast for gold: a personal narrative (London 1883, 2 vols).
[U.K. Government. Foreign Office], Case of Captain Burton, late H.B.M.'s consul at Damascus (London, March 1872).
Cameron, Verney Lovett, 'Burton as I knew him', Fortnightly Review 54, Dec. 1890.
Books by Isabel Burton
Burton, Isabel, Arabia Egypt India (London & Belfast 1879).
Burton, Isabel, Inner life of Syria, Palestine and the Holy Land, from my private journal (London 1876)
Burton, Isabel, The life of Captain Sir Richard F. Burton (London 1893, 2 vols).
Burton, Isabel, The Passion-Play at Ober-Ammergau (London 1900).
Burton, Isabel, Lady Burton's edition of her husband's Arabian Nights translated literally from the Arabic. Prepared for household reading by J.H. McCarthy (London 1886, 6 vols).
Other books and translations by Richard Burton
Burton, Richard Francis, A complete system of bayonet exercise (London 1853 [36
Burton, Richard Francis, Stone talk (Lithophónema): being some of the marvellous sayings of a petral portion of Fleet Street (London 1865 [written under the pseudonym of 'Frank Bader']; San Francisco 1940).
Burton, Richard Francis, Vikram and the vampire, or tales of Hindu devilry (London 1870, 1893; New York 1969; Rochester, VT 1992).
Burton, Richard Francis (trans.), The lands of Cazembe. Lacerda's journey to Cazembe in 1798 (London 1873).
Burton, Richard Francis & Arbuthnot, F.F. (trans.), Kama-Shastra or the Hindoo art of love ([privately printed in 1873 but only 4-6 copies were produced before the printers became alarmed by its content]; 2nd issue as Ananga Ranga, or the Hindoo art of love, Kama Shastra Society, London & Benares 1885).
Burton, Richard Francis (trans.), The captivity of Hans Stade of Hesse, in A.D. 1547-1555 (London 1874).
Burton, Richard Francis, Etruscan Bologna: a study (London 1876).
Burton, Richard Francis, A new system of sword exercise for infantry (London 1876 [59 pages]).
Burton, Richard Francis, The Kasîdah of Hâjî Abdû El-Yezdî: a lay of the higher law. Translated and annotated by his friend and pupil F.B. (Bernard Quaritch, London 1880 [both poem and annotations were Burton's work]; Portland, ME 1903; London 1914, 1925, 1933; New York, n.d.).
Burton, Richard Francis (trans.), Camoens: Os Lusiados (London 1880, 2 vols [ed. by Isabel Burton]; London 1884).
Burton, Richard Francis, A glance at the 'Passion Play' (London 1881 [concerns Oberammergau]).
Burton, Richard Francis & Arbuthnot, F.F. (trans.), The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana (Kama Shastra Society, London & Benares 1883 [numerous later edns]).
Burton, Richard Francis, The book of the sword (London 1884; Wakefield 1972; New York 1972, 1987).
Burton, Richard Francis (trans.), Camoens: the lyricks (London 1884).
Burton, Richard Francis, A plain and literal translation of the Arabian Nights entertainments, now entituled The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night (Kama Shastra Society, Benares 1885-88, 10 vols; Supplemental Nights, Benares 1886-88, 6 vols [printed for private circulation]; selections, ed. by P.H. Newby, London 1950, 1960; Limited Editions Club, Ipswich 1954; selections, London 1933, 1965).
Burton, Richard Francis & Burton, Isabel (trans.), Iracéma, etc. (London 1886).
Burton, Richard Francis (trans.), The Perfumed Garden of Cheikh Nefzaoui: a manual of Arabian erotology (Kama Shastra Society, London & Benares 1886 [an enlarged edition of this work was completed by Burton the day before he died but was burnt by his widow]; ed. by Alan Hull Walton, London 1963; London 1989, 2004).
Burton, Richard Francis (ed.) & Rehatsek, Edward (trans.), The Behâristân (Abode of Spring). By Jâmi. A literal translation from the Persian (Kama Shastra Society, Benares 1887).
Burton, Richard Francis (ed.) & Rehatsek, Edward (trans.), The Gulistân, or Rose Garden of Sa'di (Kama Shastra Society, Benares 1888).
Burton, Richard Francis & Smithers, Leonard C. (trans.), Priapeia or the sportive epigrams of divers poets on Priapus ([privately distributed] 1890).
Burton, Richard Francis, Love, war and fancy: the customs and manners of the East from writings on 'The Arabian Nights' by Sir Richard Burton (London & New York 1964).
Leared, Arthur & Burton, Richard Francis (ed.), Marocco and the Moors: being an
account of travels, with a general description of the country and its people (London 1891
Burton, Richard Francis (trans.), Il Pentamerone; or the Tale of Tales (London 1893; New York 1932).
Burton, Richard Francis (trans.), The Carmina of Gaius Valerius Catullus (London 1894).
Burton, Richard Francis, The Jew, the Gypsy, and El Islam (ed. by W.H. Wilkins, London 1898).
Burton, Richard Francis, Wanderings in three continents (ed. by W.H. Wilkins, London 1901).
Burton, Richard Francis, The sentiment of the sword: a country house dialogue (ed. by A. Forbes Sieveking [from the "Field"], London 1911).
Burton, Richard Francis, Selected papers on anthropology, travel & exploration (ed. by N.M. Penzer, London 1924; New York 1972).
Burton, Richard Francis, The minor writings of Sir Richard Burton (Clitheroe 1999).
Burton, Richard Francis, Of no country: an anthology of the works of Sir Richard Burton (New York & London 1990).
Burton, Richard Francis, Anthropological notes on the Sotadic Zone with photographs of anthropological rareties and rare Burton colectanea (ed. [anonymously] by Norman M. Penzer ([privately printed] [95 pages]).
Burton, Richard Francis, The Sotadic Zone (Boston 1973, 1977).
Burton, Richard Francis, Pilpay's fables [trans. of Alhlak-i-Hindi] (Tucson, AZ 1997).
Burton, Richard Francis, The Uruguay (a historical romance of South America): the Sir Richard F. Burton translation, Huntington Library manuscript HM 27954: José Basílio da Gama (Berkeley, CA 1982).
Books about Burton:
Assad, Thomas Joseph, The Near East and the late Victorians: an approach to Sir Richard
Francis Burton, Wilfrid Scawen Blunt and Charles Montague Doughty (University of Wisconsin
Assad, Thomas Joseph, Three Victorian travellers: Burton, Blunt, Doughty (London 1964).
Bercovici, Alfred, That blackguard Burton! (Indianapolis & New York 1962 [a biography]).
Brodie, Fawn McKay, The devil drives: a life of Sir Richard Burton (London 1967, 2002; Harmondsworth 1971).
Burton, Jean, Sir Richard Burton's wife (New York 1941; London 1942).
Casada, James A., Sir Richard F. Burton: a biobibliographical study (Boston & London 1990).
Craig, Alec, The banned books of England (London 1937).
Dearden, Seaton, The Arabian knight: a study of Sir Richard Burton (London 1936; as Burton of Arabia, New York 1937; London 1953).
Dodge, Walter Phelps, The real Sir Richard Burton (London 1907).
Downey, Fairfax, Burton: Arabian Nights adventurer (New York & London 1931).
Farwell, Byron, Burton: a biography of Sir Richard Francis Burton (London 1963; Harmondsworth 1988, 1990).
Gournay, Jean-François, L'appel du Proche-Orient: Richard Francis Burton et son temps 1821-1890 (Université de Lille 1983 [printed thesis]).
Hastings, Michael, Sir Richard Burton: a biography (London 1978).
Hitchman, Francis, Richard F. Burton, K.C.M.G.: his early, private and public life, with an account of his travels and explorations (London 1887, 2 vols).
[Huntington Library], Sir Richard Burton's travels in Arabia and Africa: four lectures from a Huntington Library manuscript (San Marino, CA 1990).
[Huntington Library], In search of Sir Richard Burton: papers from a Huntington Library symposium (San Marino, CA 1993).
Kennedy, Dane Keith, The highly civilized man: Richard Burton and the Victorian world (Cambridge, MA 2005).
Lovell, Mary S., Rage to live: a biography of Richard and Isabel Burton (London 1998).
Mackenzie, Alan F.S., Captain Sir Richard F. Burton, K.C.M.G. and Lady Isabel Arundell Burton, his wife. Vital statistics (Holmes Beach, FLA 1971 [pub. by the author]).
McLynn, Frank, Burton: snow upon the desert (London 1990).
Orrmont, Arthur, Fearless adventurer: Sir Richard Burton (London 1972).
Penzer, Norman Mosley, An annotated bibliography of Sir Richard Francis Burton (London 1923; London 1967).
Rice, Edward, Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton: the secret agent who made the pilgrimage to Mecca, discovered the Kama Sutra, and brought the Arabian Nights to the West (New York 1990).
Richards, Alfred Bates [as 'An Old Oxonian'], A short sketch of the career of Richard F. Burton (London 1880).
Richards, Alfred Bates, A sketch of the career of Richard F. Burton (London 1886).
[Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland], A catalogue of the library of Sir Richard Burton, K.C.M.G., held by the Royal Anthropological Institute (London 1978).
Schonfield, Hugh Joseph, Richard Burton: explorer (London 1936).
[Spink and Son Ltd], Catalogue of valuable books, manuscripts & autographs letters of Sir Richard Francis Burton, 1821-1890 (London 1976).
Stisted, Georgiana M., The true life of Capt. Sir Richard F. Burton (London 1896; New York 1897; London 1970, 1985).
Valentini, Corinna, L'esilio del leone: Richard Francis Burton dall'Africa a Trieste (Trieste 1998).
Wilkins, W.H., The romance of Isabel Lady Burton (London 1897, 2 vols).
Wilson, Arnold Talbot, Richard Burton ([fifth Burton Memorial Lecture] London 1937).
[Wiltshire and Swindon Record Office], The papers of Sir Richard Burton (1821-1890) from the Wiltshire and Swindon Record Office (Marlborough 2001).
Wright, Thomas, The life of Sir Richard Burton (London 1906, 2 vols; New York 1906, 2 vols).
Copyright: Raymond John Howgego 2006
Return to Index