“A VERY EXTRAORDINARY BOOK, BY A VERY EXTRAORDINARY WOMAN, ABOUT A VERY EXTRAORDINARY MAN”: ISABEL BURTON'S LIFE OF CAPTAIN SIR RICHARD F. BURTON
(BURTON, Richard) BURTON, Isabel. Life of Captain Sir Richd. F. Burton, K.C.M.G., F.R.G.S. London: Chapman and Hall, 1893. Two volumes. Octavo, original black pictorial cloth gilt. $1250.
First edition of Isabel Burton’s biography of her famous husband, with frontispiece portraits, 17 full-page plates (two in color), five maps, and numerous in-text illustrations, in the original pictorial cloth.
It has been said of Captain Richard Burton that "the whole of his life was a protest against social conventions" (DNB). In Isabel Burton's biography of her husband, she covers "every event in Burton's life, including the contentious issues such as his deathbed 'conversion' and The Scented Garden… The first reviews in the major literary organs were critical, but the general mass of newspaper reviews delighted in a meaty story. They were neatly summarized by the Edinburgh Review's, 'this is a very extraordinary book, by a very extraordinary woman about a very extraordinary man" (Lovell, A Rage to Live, 773-74). "This work… is indispensable. It includes a great deal of material that was subsequently destroyed, and it is highly useful for giving the author's view of her relationship with her husband" (Casada 347). Based upon Burton's personal diary and letters. Penzer, 308. Bookplate.
Volume I expertly recased in original cloth, with restoration to spine ends. Interiors clean, cloth fresh, gilt bright. A near-fine copy.