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Hunger for knowledge: Sir Richard Francis Burton

By Jessica Schneider May 15, 2009, 16:24 GMT

Hunger for knowledge: Sir Richard Francis Burton

A stunning fictionalized account of the infamous life of British colonial officer and translator Sir Richard Francis Burton This fictionalized account imagines the life of Sir Richard Francis Burton—a nineteenth-century British colonial officer with a rare ability to assimilate into indigenous cultures. Burton\'s obsessive traveling took him from England to British India, Arabia, and on a quest for the source of the Nile River in ...more

“The Collector of Worlds: A Novel of Sir Richard Francis Burton” by Iliya Troyanov has been featured in the NYT.

Translated by William Hobson, the NYT notes: “That is one of the few moments of introspection Troyanov allows his character. Instead of revealing Burton through his own voice and thoughts, the novelist tells Burton’s story largely through the observations of others… This many-voiced narrative can be confusing at times, but it cleverly turns convention on its head…”

PW notes: “But the book's most satisfying adventure is the African explorations; Troyanov captures the psychology of the two very different (and by the end of the trip, mutually hostile) explorers as well as he does the histories of the African peoples whose lands they pass through. Troyanov (Mumbai to Mecca) is intimately acquainted with the Indian Ocean world, and this book has the cool virtuosity of one explorer saluting another.”

Published by Ecco, readers should visit the NYT article for more info. A first chapter is also provided.


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