Paths Without Glory: Richard Francis Burton in Africa

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9781597972871: Paths Without Glory: Richard Francis Burton in Africa
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Few people have garnered so much enduring interest as Sir Richard Burton. A true polymath, Burton is best known today for his translations of the Kama Sutra and Arabian Nights. Yet, Africa stood at the center of his adult life. The Burton-Speke expedition (1856–59) that put Lake Tanganyika on the map led to years of controversy over the source of the White Nile. From 1861 to 1864 Burton served as British consul in Fernando Po and traveled widely between Ghana and Angola. He wrote prodigiously and contributed some of the first detailed ethnographic accounts of Africa’s peoples. In many ways, however, Africa proved to be Burton’s undoing. Injuries and sickness sapped his strength, he made enemies in high places, and, ironically, even the discovery of Lake Tanganyika worked to his disadvantage. Increasingly frustrated and bitter, he turned to alcohol as a frequent remedy.In this fascinating story of the relationship between a man and a continent, geographer James L. Newman provides an intimate portrait of Burton through careful examination of his journals and biographers’ rich analyses. Delving deepest into Burton’s later life and travels, Newman pinpoints the thematic mainstays of his career as a diplomat and explorer, namely his strong advocacy of aggressive imperial policies and his belief that race explained crucial human differences. Historians and scholars of the golden age of empire, as well as armchair adventurers, will not only discover what defined this famously enigmatic figure, but venture, themselves, into the heart of mid-nineteenth-century Africa.

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About the Author:

James L. Newman is a professor emeritus of geography at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School. His books include Imperial Footprints: Henry Morton Stanley’s African Journeys (Potomac Books, Inc., 2006), The Peopling of Africa, Eliminating Hunger in Africa with Daniel Griffith, and Contemporary Africa with C. Gregory Knight. He lives in Syracuse, New York.

Review:

“At last an authority on Africa has taken up the story of Richard Burton in Africa. James L. Newman provides us with a richly informative account of Burton’s African journeys, enlivened by a crisp and engaging prose style.”—Dane Kennedy, author of The Highly Civilized Man: Richard Burton and the Victorian World (Dane Kennedy 2009-10-23)

“I thought James L. Newman’s book about Henry Morton Stanley was wonderful—Paths Without Glory, his biographical account of Richard F. Burton, is better. Newman’s primary focus is on Burton’s relationship with Africa and Africans, yet throughout his prolific literary output, the famous English explorer is shown to be a not so benevolent racist, as well as a congenitally disgruntled and unhappy traveler. This book is hard to put down.”—Sanford H. Bederman, Professor Emeritus of Geography, Georgia State University, and past president and fellow, Society for the History of Discoveries (Sanford H. Bederman 2009-10-23)

“Historians and scholars of the golden age of empire, as well as armchair adventurers, will not only discover what defined this famously enigmatic figure, but venture themselves into the heart of mid-nineteenth-century Africa.”—History Magazine (History Magazine 2010-04-01)

“Key to an understanding of [Africa’s] history.”—Midwest Book Review (Midwest Book Review 2010-04-15)

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Book Description Potomac, 2010. Condition: New. Of all 19th century British explorers, Richard Burton was the most complex and contradictory: Victorian gentleman and erotic adventurer; racial supremacist and fascinated admirer of other cultures; misogynist and lover of women. This compelling study explores the crucial role of Africa, and the peoples he encountered there, in his life and career, from his journey with Speke to Lake Tanganyika to his consulship at Fernando Po, taking the reader to the heart of both the continent and this enigmatic, questing individual. Seller Inventory # 288068

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Book Description Potomac Books Inc, United States, 2010. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Few people have garnered so much enduring interest as Sir Richard Burton. A true polymath, Burton is best known today for his translations of the Kama Sutra and Arabian Nights. Yet, Africa stood at the center of his adult life. The Burton-Speke expedition (1856-59) that put Lake Tanganyika on the map led to years of controversy over the source of the White Nile. From 1861 to 1864 Burton served as British consul in Fernando Po and traveled widely between Ghana and Angola. He wrote prodigiously and contributed some of the first detailed ethnographic accounts of Africa s peoples. In many ways, however, Africa proved to be Burton s undoing. Injuries and sickness sapped his strength, he made enemies in high places, and, ironically, even the discovery of Lake Tanganyika worked to his disadvantage. Increasingly frustrated and bitter, he turned to alcohol as a frequent remedy. In this fascinating story of the relationship between a man and a continent, geographer James L. Newman provides an intimate portrait of Burton through careful examination of his journals and biographers rich analyses. Delving deepest into Burton s later life and travels, Newman pinpoints the thematic mainstays of his career as a diplomat and explorer, namely his strong advocacy of aggressive imperial policies and his belief that race explained crucial human differences. Historians and scholars of the golden age of empire, as well as armchair adventurers, will not only discover what defined this famously enigmatic figure, but venture, themselves, into the heart of mid-nineteenth-century Africa. Seller Inventory # AAJ9781597972871

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Book Description Potomac Books Inc, United States, 2010. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Few people have garnered so much enduring interest as Sir Richard Burton. A true polymath, Burton is best known today for his translations of the Kama Sutra and Arabian Nights. Yet, Africa stood at the center of his adult life. The Burton-Speke expedition (1856-59) that put Lake Tanganyika on the map led to years of controversy over the source of the White Nile. From 1861 to 1864 Burton served as British consul in Fernando Po and traveled widely between Ghana and Angola. He wrote prodigiously and contributed some of the first detailed ethnographic accounts of Africa s peoples. In many ways, however, Africa proved to be Burton s undoing. Injuries and sickness sapped his strength, he made enemies in high places, and, ironically, even the discovery of Lake Tanganyika worked to his disadvantage. Increasingly frustrated and bitter, he turned to alcohol as a frequent remedy. In this fascinating story of the relationship between a man and a continent, geographer James L. Newman provides an intimate portrait of Burton through careful examination of his journals and biographers rich analyses. Delving deepest into Burton s later life and travels, Newman pinpoints the thematic mainstays of his career as a diplomat and explorer, namely his strong advocacy of aggressive imperial policies and his belief that race explained crucial human differences. Historians and scholars of the golden age of empire, as well as armchair adventurers, will not only discover what defined this famously enigmatic figure, but venture, themselves, into the heart of mid-nineteenth-century Africa. Seller Inventory # AAJ9781597972871

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