Sir Richard Francis Burton 1821-1890
Explorer, ethnographer, and man of letters. Pilgrim to Mecca and Harar; discoverer of Lake Tanganyika; translator of the Arabian Nights; controversialist and iconoclast.
This site intends to provide everything known to be written by Burton. Most of the major books are available in full, as are nearly 200 of Burton's journal articles and pamphlets, which are often very hard to find.
Burton has for many years been highly collectible, and first, or even early, editions of his books are worth small fortunes when they appear intermittently at auctions. Many of his books have long been out of print; others are available only in inferior transcriptions, or as pricey reprints. All these are freely available here, collected together for the first time, in all their known editions.
If you can contribute facsimiles or other items of Burtoniana not available here, contact the editor.
Recent additions to the site.
Burton was a multi-faceted, complex, and outrageously talented man. The standard biographies are available here, including Isabel Burton's two volume Life of her 'earthly master' and the rare 1880 edition of Bate Richard's Sketch.
From cigar bands to coins, stamps and the like.
Almost all of Burton's major book-length works are available here in page image facsimile format, or in transcript form, and can be downloaded freely. Some of these are exceptionally rare and hard to obtain. An extensive bibliography is given.
Burton published widely in scholarly journals and in newspapers. Most of these pieces, nearly 200 in number, are now available. In time absolutely all of this material will be available here, usually in facsimile format, if copies can be located.
Although Isabel Burton destroyed many of Burton's manuscripts and letters, many still survive, although they have been scattered across several archives and among many private collections. Those that are made available will be published here in facsimile format.
There is surprisingly little worthwhile
Burton's quondam friend.
Traces of Burton still to be found in Trieste.
Pay, pack and follow.
Photographs and portraits.
How to get in touch.