Richard F. Burton

Easton Press Richard F. Burton books

The Arabian Nights Entertainments - 100 Greatest Books Ever Written - 1981
The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night (17 volume set) - 1994
Sinbad The Sailor and Other Stories From The Arabian Nights - 2000
Sinbad the Sailor - The Collector's Library of Famous Editions - 2004
First Footsteps In East Africa - 2007

Franklin Library Richard F. Burton books

Tales From the Arabian Nights - 100 Greatest Books of All Time - 1977
Tales From the Arabian Nights - World's Best Loved Books - 1980

Richard F. Burton biography

Sir Richard Francis Burton, a fascinating and enigmatic figure of the 19th century, was born on March 19, 1821, in Torquay, Devon, England. Burton's life was a tapestry woven with threads of exploration, linguistic prowess, and a penchant for pushing the boundaries of societal norms. Educated at Trinity College, Oxford, Burton displayed a remarkable aptitude for languages early in life. Fluent in several European and Middle Eastern languages, he developed a deep interest in the cultures and traditions of regions far removed from his Victorian upbringing. This linguistic skill would later become a hallmark of his exploratory endeavors. In 1842, Burton embarked on a military career with the East India Company, serving in India. His insatiable curiosity and passion for discovery led him to immerse himself in the study of local languages, religions, and customs. His exploration of forbidden and sacred spaces, such as Mecca, brought him both acclaim and controversy.

One of Burton's most famous exploits was his journey to the city of Harar in modern-day Ethiopia, a place forbidden to non-Muslims. Disguised as an Arab merchant, Burton successfully entered the city, providing Europeans with a firsthand account of this mysterious and isolated region. His narrative, First Footsteps in East Africa (1856), showcased his keen observational skills and the depth of his cultural understanding. Burton's travels were not confined to Africa. In 1853, he set out on a pilgrimage to Mecca, a journey that few non-Muslims had undertaken. His experiences during the Hajj, detailed in Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah and Meccah (1855-1856), earned him praise for his detailed and respectful observations.

Apart from his explorations, Burton was a prolific author and translator. He translated works like The Kama Sutra and The Arabian Nights into English, adding his own annotations and commentaries. His writings often courted controversy due to their explicit content and unflinching examination of taboo subjects. In addition to his literary pursuits, Burton's military career continued, and he reached the rank of captain. However, ill health forced him to retire from the army in 1856. His subsequent years were marked by a diverse range of activities, including diplomatic assignments, archaeological explorations, and more literary endeavors.

Richard Francis Burton's life was a mosaic of exploration, scholarship, and a fearless quest for understanding the world's myriad cultures. His legacy endures not only through his own writings but also through the inspiration he provided to later generations of adventurers, linguists, and anthropologists. Burton passed away on October 20, 1890, leaving behind a legacy of exploration and intellectual curiosity that continues to captivate and inspire.
Richard F. Burton was knighted in 1886. Richard F. Burton is best known for his definitive translation (16 vols. 1885-88) of the collection of Oriental tales known as the Arabian Nights.

The Arabian Nights

So he rose and lighted one lamp after another, till he had lighted the whole eighty and the palace seemed to dance with brilliancy.'

Beginning with the legend of King Shahryr, whose anger at his queen's infidelity leads him to murder a new wife each day, Arabian Nights weaves together ancient folklore and magic in an anthology of fantastical and evocative stories dating from the ninth century.

Rich with suspense, passion and tragedy, Sir Richard Burton's celebrated translation continues to transport readers across oceans, to mystical lands and ancient palaces in tales such as 'The Lovers of Bessorah', The Fellah and His Wicked Wife' and 'The Hunchback's Tale'.

Arabian Nights is a collection of Middle Eastern, West Asian and South Asian stories and folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age. It is often known in English as the The Book of the Thousand Nights and A Night. The stories proceed from an original tale of ruler Shahryār and his wife Scheherazade where some stories are framed within other stories, while others begin and end of their own accord. The most beloved and most well known tales include Sindbad the Sailor and his Seven Voyages, Alibaba and the Forty Thieves, The Fisherman and the Jinni and many more which will transport you into the land of magic and nostalgia. Titles include: The Story Of King Shahryar And His Brother, The Tale Of The Bull And The Ass, The Fisherman And The Jinni, The Tale Of The Ensorceled Prince, The Porter And The Three Ladies Of Baghdad, The First Kalandar's Tale, The Second Kalandar's Tale, The Third Kalandar's Tale, The Eldest Lady's Tale, The Tale Of The Three Apples, Tale Of Nur Al-Din Ali And His Son, Badr Al-Din Hasan, The City Of Many-Columned, Iram And Abdullah, Son Of Abi Kilabah, The Sweep And The Noble, Lady The Man Who Stole The Dish Of Gold, Wherein The Dog Ate, The Ruined Man Who Became Rich Again, Through A Dream, The Ebony Horse, The Angel Of Death With The Proud And The Devout Man, Sindbad The Seaman And Sindbad The Landsman, First Voyage Of Sindbad Hight The Seaman, The Second Voyage Of Sindbad The Seaman, The Third Voyage Of Sindbad The Seaman, The Fourth Voyage Of Sindbad The Seaman, The Fifth Voyage Of Sindbad The Seaman, The Sixth Voyage Of Sindbad The Seaman, The Seventh Voyage Of Sindbad The Seaman, The Lady And Her Five Suitors, Khalifah The Fisherman Of Baghdad, Abu Kir The Dyer And Abu Sir The Barber, The Sleeper And The Waker, Story Of The Larrikin And The Cook Aladdin; Or, The Wonderful Lamp Ali Baba And The Forty Thieves.

Tales of the enchanting ‘Thousand and One Nights’ have entered the folklore of the entire world but their origins lie in the Arabic and Indian oral traditions of the early middle ages. Their power to entice lies in the tenacity of the storyteller Scheherazade who weaves a new tale each night, to save herself from execution. Popular characters such as Aladdin, Ali Baba and Sinbad the sailor have become part of the Arabian Nights, added in later years, but told within the intriguing structure of the original. Such additions by were made by translators and collaborators from many European and Eastern sources but it was Richard Burton’s edition that brought these popular folk tales to the attention of a Victorian era readership eager to explore new cultures. It is Burton’s edition that forms the basis of this new collection, with stories that survive still from the original featured here too: ‘The Merchant and the Genie’, ‘The Fisherman and the Genie’, ‘The Porter and the Three Ladies’, ‘The Three Apples’.

Sinbad The Sailor

The seven voyages of Sinbad, from A Thousand and One Arabian Nights, have been thrilling readers and listeners for generations.

Sinbad, after wasting the fortune left to him by his father, decides to recoup his wealth by going to sea. He and his companions land on what appears to be an island, but the island proves to be a gigantic sleeping whale on which trees have taken root. A fire kindled by the sailors awakens the whale and causes him to dive into the depths of the sea.

Sinbad is washed ashore on a different, densely wooded island, where he comes across one of the king's grooms. When Sinbad helps save the King's mare from being drowned by a huge sea horse, the groom brings Sinbad to the king. Rewarded handsomely by the king, Sinbad returns to Baghdad to resume a life of ease and pleasure.

Sinbad the sailor, after the exciting adventures of his first journey, soon grows restless of his life of leisure, and sets out to sea again, this time with the desire to travel about the world to understand and see men’s cities and islands.

He is accidentally abandoned by his shipmates, and finds himself stranded on an island which contains Roc eggs. One of the Rocs transports him to a valley of giant snakes which can swallow elephants, and a Roc which prey upon them. Diamonds carpet the valley, and merchants use the Rocs to harvest them. Sinbad decides to harvest some of the diamonds for himself but ends up trapped in a Roc’s nest. Eventually rescued, he returns home, but not without a few other adventures along the way.

In the 7th Voyage of Sinbad, the sailor, once again shipwrecked, finds himself in a great city, where the chief of the merchants weds Sinbad to his daughter, names him his heir, and conveniently dies.

The inhabitants of this city are transformed once a month into birds, and Sinbad has one of the bird-people carry him to the uppermost reaches of the sky, where he hears the angels glorifying God. Because of Sinbad’s reaction to this, fire comes down from heaven which nearly consumes the bird-men.

The bird-people are angry with Sinbad and set him down on a mountain-top. When he returns to the city, Sinbad learns from his wife that the bird-men are devils so Sinbad returns with her to Baghdad, where at last he resolves to live quietly in the enjoyment of his wealth, and to seek no more adventures.

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