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    Sir Richard Francis Burton Autograph Letter Signed. One page, 4.5" x 4.5", "Thursday even", n.p., on stationery embossed with an Arabic inscription. Burton writes, "My dear [Glaber ?]. Thanks for news." He then gives the recipient instructions, ending his letter with, "Hope that you are better./ Ev. Yrs./ R. Burton". Portions of the original letter have been excised. Attractively matted and framed with a portrait of Burton in Middle Eastern dress, 14" x 10.5" overall. Mounting reside on the verso and repair, else extremely fine.

    Richard Francis Burton was a Victorian explorer, writer, and translator. The son of an army officer and thrown out of Oxford University, Burton joined the army of the East India Company where he used his knowledge of local languages for his work in intelligence and surveying. In 1853, he took leave from the company and, in disguise, traveled to Mecca on a Hajj, or pilgrimage to the Holy City, one of the few westerners to do so. His account of the trip made his reputation as an author and an explorer. He led expeditions to both the Horn of Africa and Lake Tanganyika. Burton was a prolific author writing mainly books on travel and ethnography. He also translated Classical and Renaissance literature, with a particular interest in eastern erotica--he translated and printed the Kama Sutra (1883) and The Perfumed Garden (1886). He also published a complete edition of the Arabian Nights (1885-88). Upon his death in 1890, his wife, Isabel, a pious Christian, fearing scandal, burned his papers and manuscripts. He and Isabel are buried in a tomb in the shape of a Bedouin tent in Mortlake, southwest London.

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    Auction Dates
    June, 2009
    16th-17th Tuesday-Wednesday
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