Explorer and inventor, soldier and poet, archaeologist and diplomat, Richard Francis Burton (1821-1890) was the most versatile and remarkable man of his age. But he was foremost an adventurer: “an adventurer in the intellectual and the spiritual as well as the physical world.”
The pioneering traveler in Central Africa who discovered Lake Tanganyika was also the translator of The Arabian Nights and the secret translator of Oriental sex manuals like The Perfumed Garden. The man who made a dangerous pilgrimage to Mecca in disguise also produced major writings on reptiles and religion, mining and mountain climbing, slavery and sexuality.
Byron Farwell brilliantly recreates the sheer excitement of Burton’s achievements and astonishing range of interests in this fascinating biography.
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An outstanding performance of an outstanding life
Sir Richard F. Burton - explorer, poet, master of 29 languages, iconoclast, swordsman, eroticist, translator of both the Arabian nights and the Kama Sutra, scholar and so much more is a daunting target for any biographer. This book, well read and well written will give you some familiarity - warts and all - with one of the most fascinating people of all time, and the singular people around him, including his magnificent, devoted and talented wife Isabel. Niether his toweing virtues; his courage, intellectual curiosity, and his loyalty; nor his vices: his bigotry, stubbornness and occassional cruelty are hidden from you. This is an audiobook to treasure.