A Rage to Live: A Biography of Richard and Isabel Burton

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W. W. Norton & Company, 2000 - Biography & Autobiography - 910 pages
3 Reviews
Their marriage was both improbable and inevitable. Isabel Arundell was a schoolgirl, the scion of England's most distinguished Catholic family. When she first saw him while walking at a seaside resort, Richard Burton had already made his mark as a linguist (he was fluent in twenty-nine languages), scholar, soldier, and explorer--at once a symbol of Victorian England's vision of empire and an avowed rebel against its mores. When she turned and saw him staring after her, she decided that she would marry him. By their next meeting, Burton had become the first infidel to infiltrate Mecca as one of the faithful, and, in an expedition to discover the source of the Nile, would soon be the first white man to see Lake Tanganyika. After being married, the Burtons traveled and experienced the world, from diplomatic postings in Brazil and Africa to hair-raising adventures in the Syrian desert. In later life Richard courted further controversy as a self-proclaimed erotologist and the translator of The Kama Sutra. Based on previously unavailable archives, Mary Lovell has written a compelling joint biography that sets Isabel in her proper place as Burton's equal in daring and endurance, a fascinating figure in her own right.
 

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User Review  - PatsyMurray - LibraryThing

Carefully researched, this biography of Richard and Isabel Burton is an exciting, fast-paced read, if a tad too long. She mounts a strong defense of Isabel, refuting the claim that Isabel's ... Read full review

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User Review  - john.cooper - LibraryThing

This is the third biography that I have read of the 19th century explorer, adventurer, linguist, scholar, and Satan’s body double Richard Francis Burton, and it is by far the best. (Yes, Burton, who ... Read full review

Contents

A GIPSY CHILDHOOD 1821184O
1
UNDERGRADUATE TO GRIFFIN 184O1842
16
THE SUBALTERN 18431845
33
MIRZA ABDULLAH 18451846
49
INDIAN SUMMER 18461849
75
MISS ARUNDELL 18311852
91
FLIRTATIONS 18491853
107
THE PILGRIM 1853
121
SOUTH AMERICAN INTERLUDE 18651868
459
HOME AGAIN 18681869
490
DESTINY IN DAMASCUS 1869187O
506
A SWEET UNREST 187O1871
531
PAY PACK AND FOLLOW 18711873
556
TRIESTE THE EARLY YEARS 18731875
590
A CHARMING DAY AND NO ONE DIED 18761879
619
LENGTHENING SHADOWS 1879188O
638

DREAMS OF AFRICA 18531854
140
DISASTER IN THE HORN OF AFRICA 18541855
158
WITH BEATSONS HORSE IN THE CRIMEA 18551856
181
SECRET ENGAGEMENT 1856
204
THE SCENT OF CLOVES 18561857
222
THE LONG SAFARI 18561857
241
THE LAKE REGIONS 18571858
269
THE BETRAYAL SUMMER 1859
295
TURNING POINT 1859186O
321
THE PRAIRIE TRAVELLER I860
342
MARRIAGE 1861
365
CONSUL IN WEST AFRICA 18611863
386
ISLAND HONEYMOON 18631864
415
SOURCE OF THE NILE 18611864
431
THE DUEL September 1864
443
ARABIAN NIGHTS 18811883
664
KAMA SHASTRA PARADIGMS OF PASSION 18831886
675
BID THE WINTER COME 1887189O
704
ACTIONS AND REACTIONS 189O1891
737
HERMAPHRODITE AND THE PORNOGRAPHERS 18911894
764
LAST TINKLE OF THE CAMEL BELL 18941896
784
Epilogue
788
Appendix 1
800
Appendix 2
803
Chronology
804
Source Notes
808
Bibliography
887
Acknowledgements
895
Index
897
Copyright

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Page iii - Wise wretch! with pleasures too refined to please, With too much spirit to be e'er at ease, With too much quickness ever to be taught, With too much thinking to have common thought: Who purchase pain with all that joy can give, And die of nothing but a rage to live.

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About the author (2000)

She is the author of acclaimed biographies of Richard & Isabel Burton, Amelia Earhart & Beryl Markham among others. She lives in Gloucestershire, England.

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