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Burton-Smithers Papers: Finding Aid
mssHM 27955, mssHM 78887-79014  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Related Materials
  • Indexing Terms
  • Indexing: Subjects
  • Indexing: Added Entries

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: Burton-Smithers Papers
    Dates (inclusive): 1884-1892
    Collection Number: mssHM 27955, mssHM 78887-79014
    Creator: Burton, Richard Francis, Sir, 1821-1890
    Extent: 129 pieces in 2 boxes and 1 volume.
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2129
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: This collection consists mainly of letters from Isabel Burton (1831-1896) and her husband, British explorer and writer Richard Burton (1821-1890), to their friend London publisher Leonard Charles Smithers (1861-1907) from 1885 to 1892; the collection also contains a printed prospectus for The Arabian Nights, a poem by Algernon Charles Swinburne, a photograph of Isabel Burton, and a lithograph of Richard Burton.
    Language: English.

    Access

    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    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.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. Burton-Smithers Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Provenance

    Purchased from William K. Bixby, 1918.

    Processing/Project Information

    1. The material in this purchase originally consisted of two bound volumes: one volume of autograph letters from the Burtons to Leonard Smithers, and, the other, an autograph manuscript by Richard F. Burton, Four Lectures: The Visitation to El Medinah…. The volume of lectures was cataloged in the 1950s, and given the call number HM 27955; and, at the same time, the volume of letters was disbound but not cataloged. It was decided to now catalog the letters in an effort to catalog all of the Burton material currently in the manuscript collections.
    2. Because almost the entire collection is about the publication of Burton’s works at the end of his life, it was decided not to subject index these works individually unless substantive.

    Biographical Note

    Richard Francis Burton (1821-1890), was a British explorer, linguist, writer, diplomat and translator. He explored Africa, the Middle East, South America and Iceland, and translated, among many other titles, The Arabian Nights. Burton married Isabel Arundell (1831-1896), in 1861, and she, thereafter, accompanied Burton on many of his travels, and became his amanuensis and editor, as well as publishing her own travel volumes and an autobiography. Burton died of a heart attack on October 19, 1890, and Isabel Burton died from complications of ovarian cancer on March 22, 1896.
    Leonard Charles Smithers (1861-1907), was a British solicitor, antiquarian bookseller and publisher of works of erotica and supporter of avant-garde authors and their works.

    Scope and Content

    This collection consists mainly of letters from Isabel Burton (1831-1896) and her husband, British explorer and writer Richard Burton (1821-1890), to their friend London publisher Leonard Charles Smithers (1861-1907) from 1885 to 1892
    1. Correspondence & Manuscripts (Box 1) are arranged alphabetically by author. This box includes letters from Isabel Burton and Richard Burton to Leonard Smithers. This box also includes a draft manuscript by Isabel Burton offering a “pious memento” in return for prayers for Richard Burton’s release from purgatory and a printed prospectus for Burton’s Arabian Nights.
    2. Correspondence, Manuscripts, Photograph & Ephemera (Box 2) are arranged alphabetically by author and subject. This box includes letters from Richard Burton to Leonard Smithers; the final letter is dated less than a month before Burton’s death on Oct. 19, 1890. Also included in this box is a poem by Algernon Charles Swinburne, a signed photograph of Isabel Burton, a lithograph of Richard Burton and ephemera.

    Arrangement

    Organized in the following manner:
    • Bound volume of Four Lectures by Richard F. Burton (HM 27955)
    • Correspondence and Manuscript (Box 1)
    • Correspondence, Manuscripts, Photograph and Ephemera (Box 2)
    Items arranged alphabetically and chronologically.

    Related Materials

    • Burke E. Casari Papers (1748-2004)   (Call number: mssHM 78795-78885, 80305-80324). Also, Richard F. Burton and African explorers related rare books, pamphlets and reports from the library of Burke E. Casari cataloged individually in the Huntington Library Online Catalog.
    • Sir Richard Francis Burton Papers, 1846-2003 (bulk 1846-1939)   (Call number: mssRFB 1-1368). This collection was given to the Huntington as a gift by Edwards H. Metcalf, October 1992.
    • Richard and Isabel Burton material listed in the Guide to Literary Manuscripts in the Huntington Library (p. 77); for detailed information about this material, please consult the Manuscripts Card Catalogue.
    • Richard and Isabel Burton manuscript material, part of the Burton Library formerly held by the Royal Anthropological Institute; for detailed information about this material, please see: Catalogue of the Library of Sir Richard Burton, held by the Royal Anthropological Institute, B. J. Kirkpatrick (ed.).

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  

    Subjects

    Burton, Isabel, Lady, 1831-1896.
    Burton, Richard Francis, Sir, 1821-1890.
    Authors, English, -- 19th century.

    Forms/Genres

    Ephemera -- 19th century.
    Letters (correspondence) -- 19th century.
    Manuscripts -- 19th century.
    Photographs -- 19th century.
    Poems -- 19th century.

    Additional Contributors

    Burton, Isabel, Lady, 1831-1896.
    Smithers, Leonard C. (Leonard Charles), 1861-1907, recipient.
    Swinburne, Algernon Charles, 1837-1909.

    Indexing: Subjects

    Burton, Isabel, Lady, 1831-1896. In photograph, (1888, July 21). HM 79012.
    Burton, Richard Francis, Sir, 1821-1890 [death]. In Lady Isabel Burton, 1831-1896, letter to Leonard C. (Leonard Charles) Smithers, 1861-1907, (1890, Oct. 31). HM 78895.
    Burton, Richard Francis, Sir, 1821-1890 [funeral]. In Lady Isabel Burton, 1831-1896, card to Leonard C. (Leonard Charles) Smithers, 1861-1907, ([1891, June]). HM 78904.
    Burton, Richard Francis, Sir, 1821-1890. In lithograph, ([before 1900]?). HM 79013. Burton, Richard Francis, Sir, 1821-1890. The Scented Garden. In Lady Isabel Burton, 1831-1896, letters to Leonard C. (Leonard Charles) Smithers, 1861-1907, (1891). HM 78907, 78910.
    Burton, Richard Francis, Sir, 1821-1890. Supplemental Nights to the Book of The Thousand Nights and a Night. In Lady Isabel Burton, 1831-1896, letter to Leonard C. (Leonard Charles) Smithers, 1861-1907, (1888, Mar. 21). HM 78888.
    Hitchman, Francis, 1839-1890. In Lady Isabel Burton, 1831-1896, letter to Leonard C. (Leonard Charles) Smithers, 1861-1907, (1888, Feb. 18). HM 78887.
    Pollock, Walter Herries, 1850-1926. In Lady Isabel Burton, 1831-1896, letter to Leonard C. (Leonard Charles) Smithers, 1861-1907, (1888, Feb. 18). HM 78887.

    Indexing: Added Entries

    Burton, Isabel, Lady, 1831-1896. Handwriting on note from Sir Richard Francis Burton, 1821- 1890, to [-----], ([1884]). HM 78923.
    Burton, Isabel, Lady, 1831-1896. Handwriting on letter from Sir Richard Francis Burton, 1821- 1890, to Leonard C. (Leonard Charles) Smithers, 1861-1907, (1885, Feb. 24). HM 78924.
    Maylor, Victoria L. Handwriting on letter from Lady Isabel Burton, 1831-1896, to Leonard C. (Leonard Charles) Smithers, 1861-1907, (1888, Apr. 26). HM 78889.