Synopses & Reviews
A New York Times best-seller when it was first published, Rice's biography is the gripping story of a fierce, magnetic, and brilliant man whose real-life accomplishments are the stuff of legend. Rice retraces Burton's steps as the first European adventurer to search for the source of the Nile; to enter, disguised, the forbidden cities of Mecca and Medina; and to travel through remote stretches of India, the Near East, and Africa. From his spying exploits to his startling literary accomplishments (the discovery and translation of the Kama Sutra and his seventeen-volume translation of Arabian Nights), Burton was an engrossing, larger-than-life Victorian figure, and Rice's splendid biography lays open a portrayal as dramatic, complicated, and compelling as the man himself.
"One wonders just who Sir Richard Francis Burton was. A Sufi master? Lord high priest of pornography? A modern Columbus? Victorians charged him with all this and much more, little of it flattering and much of it illegal. No one—least of all his prissy wife—knew what to make of a man of such exotic, varied interests and such incredible talents. The safest course was as always to ostracize him. There hasn't been a biography of this remarkable man in some time, and Edward Rice's interesting attempt to capture Burton's untamable spirit is well worth reading." Reviewed by Andrew Witmer, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
This masterpiece of history and biography turns the real-life adventures of Burton into a riveting tale
The last great word on the last great explorer of the colonial age. -Wall Street Journal
About the Author
Edward Rice is the author of twenty books, including The Man in the Sycamore Tree, Margaret Mead, and John Frum He Come. He lives in Sagaponack, New York.