RICHARD BURTON
THE INDIAN MAKING OF AN ARABIST
Simon Digby

This monograph with its copious notes presents an analytical account of the making and shaping of Sir Richard Burton as an Arabist and Arabophile by the experience and opportunities of his seven years as an Indian Army officer. Simon Digby also adds a comment on the Indian influences upon two of the great cycles of travel in the Arabian Nights, the annotated translation of which is perhaps Burton’s weightiest scholarly achievement.
The steps to India taken by Burton are outlined along with the background to Burton’s study of oriental languages and the Indian context. Also considered is the important rôle of the munshi.
Burton’s inclination for disguise, rôle-playing and romantic encounters are considered as well as his work on Sind and the narrative of his travels in Southern India
It was after he had acquired the necessary linguistic skills, a fund of knowledge regarding the behaviour of individuals in Islamic society and a skill in rôle-playing that Burton felt himself impelled towards the climacteric of his life, the journey to Mecca.

Simon Digby was born in India in 1932 and educated mainly in Britain. His principal interests are in Indo-Islamic history, art and literature. He now divides his time between India and Jersey, Channel Islands.

By the same author
War-Horse and Elephant in the Dehli Sultanate
Wonder Tales of South Asia
Sufi and Soldiers in Aurangzeb’s Deccan

August 2006
216 x 138mm, 72 pages; paperback; £10.00
ISBN  0 903971 02 X
An Orient Monographs Publication
Produced and distributed by Melisende

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