📙 The Devil Drives

: A Life of Sir Richard Burton

— biography by Fawn Brodie (1967)

Sir Richard Burton (1821–1890), a man of distinction.

Sir Richard Burton was a British explorer, writer, orientalist, cartographer, spy, poet and diplomat. According to the publishing house, Eland:

Richard Burton was one of the greatest Victorian explorers as well as being an innovative translator, a pioneer in the fields of anthropology and sexual psychology and a publisher of erotica.

The Devil That Drives, is an excellent biography, first published in 1967, which covers comprehensively the life of Sir Richard Burton. Fawn Brodie, the talented writer of this biography, creates — in my own opinion — a really vivid and captivating portrait of Burton. By way of her pen, he emerges vividly from the richly textured fabric of his time. His travels to Mecca and Medina dressed as a Muslim pilgrim, his witnessing of the human sacrifices at Dahomey and his unlikely but loving partnership with his pious Catholic bride are all treated with warmth, scholarship and understanding.

Praise for the book

“A first class biography of an exceptional man … Buy it, steal it, read it.”

— J.H. Plumb, New York Times

“The latest, far the best and surely the final biography of Sir Richard Burton, one of the most bizarre characters whom England has ever produced.”

— Graham Greene, The Observer

Burton’s passion was not only for geographical discovery but also for the darker and more deviant side of humankind. His enormous erudition on the sexual customs of the East and Africa, long confined by the prudishness of the Victorian era, are now publicly available. His translations include:

1. Arabian Nights

Read the full review (& download a PDF copy) here:
BooksArabian Nights.

2. The Perfumed Garden

Read the full review (& download a PDF copy) here:
BooksThe Perfumed Garden.

3. Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana

Read the full review (& download a PDF copy) here:
BooksKama Sutra of Vatsyayana.


An account of a person’s life written by that person.

An account of someone’s life written by someone else.

Author: Anna Bidoonism

Poems, prose & literary analysis—this is who I am.

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