Sir Richard F. Burton (1821-1890) was a captain of the Bombay Army, co-discoverer of the source of the White Nile with John Hanning Speke, and British consul on the island of Fernando Po off the coast of Equatorial Guinea, at Santos, Brazil, at Damascus, Syria and at Trieste, Austria-Hungary.
He was one of the most important linguists of his day, creating a well-received direct-from-Arabic English translation of The Arabian Nights in 16 volumes. He was one of the original English translators of the Kama Sutra, an excellent swordsman and was knighted in 1886.
This book, published in 1898, consists of three extended essays that Burton had been working on for many years prior to his death. The “gypsy” portion details a group of people who are nearly invisible, their machinations going almost undetected. The insightful details featured in the portion on Islam are of obvious topical interest today. However, the real treat is the portion containing his observations on the Jews he came across on his travels. Interestingly, this essay was four times longer in its original unpublished format, which was kept under lock and key in the archives of the Board of Deputies of British Jews. The story of how they got their hands on the original manuscript is discussed in the foreword.
Softcover, 214 pages, #809