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Sir Richard Francis Burton Papers: Finding Aid
mssRFB 1-1386  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
This collection contains personal, official, business, and social correspondence and manuscripts of British explorer and writer Sir Richard Francis Burton (1821-1890) and his wife, Lady Isabel Burton (1831-1896), chiefly covering the period of Burton's consulship in Trieste and Lady Burton's life after her husband's death.
Background
Richard Francis Burton was born March 19, 1821, at Torquay; he was educated at Trinity College, Oxford, but did not take a degree. He became a noted linguist, writer, translator and explorer; he is probably best known for his translations of the works of The Arabian Nights and The Kama Sutra, as well as his travels in Africa, the Middle East, South America and Iceland. Isabel Arundell was born March 20, 1831, in London, of an old, established Roman Catholic family. In 1861, after an eleven-year courtship, Richard and Isabel were married, and from that time she accompanied Burton on his travels, and became his amanuensis and editor. Isabel Burton also used her family connections to help further Burtons career in the Foreign Office. Besides serving as Burtons editor, Isabel published a number of works, mainly travel volumes and an autobiography. Burton was given his final consulate at Trieste in 1873, and was knighted in 1886; after years of ill-health, he suffered a heart attack and died on October 19, 1890. Isabel Burton returned to England to oversee the literary estate of her husband; she died on March 22, 1896, from complications of ovarian cancer.Edwards Huntington Metcalf , grandson of Henry E. Huntington. An avid collector, Edwards H. Metcalf served on the Board of Overseers of the Huntington Library from 1978 until his death in 2001.
Extent
1,461 pieces. 58 boxes.
Restrictions
The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.
Availability
Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.