Rage to Live by Mary S. Lovell
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Rage to Live
By Mary S. Lovell

A Rage to Live

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Format: Paperback

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Rage to Live by Mary S. Lovell

Book Description

Richard Burton was a brilliant, charismatic man - a unique blend of erudite scholar and daring adventurer. Fluent in twenty-nine languages, he found it easy to pass himself off as a native, thereby gaining unique insight into societies otherwise closed to Western scrutiny. He followed service as an intelligence officer in India by a daring penetration of the sacred Islamic cities of Mecca and Medina disguised as a pilgrim. He was the first European to enter the forbidden African city of Harar, and discovered Lake Tanganyika in his search for the source of the Nile. His fascination with, and research into, the intimate customs of ethnic races (which would eventually culminate in his brilliant Kama Sutra) earned him a racy reputation in that age of sexual repression. Little surprise, then, that Isabel Arundell's aristocratic mother objected to her daughter's marriage to this most notorious of figures. Isabel, however, was a spirited, independent-minded woman and was also deeply, passionately in love with Richard. Against all expectations but their own, the Burtons enjoyed a remarkably successful marriage.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780349110165
ISBN-10: 0349110166
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 59mm)
Pages: 928
Imprint: Abacus
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publish Date: 7-Oct-1999
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions...

Books By Author Mary S. Lovell

Riviera Set by Mary S. Lovell Riviera Set, Paperback (November 2016)

A portrait of high society in the twentieth century, told through the stories of the guests of Maxine Elliott and Prince Aly Khan at the Chateau de l'Horizon in Cannes.

Churchills by Mary S. Lovell Churchills, Paperback (May 2012)

"Intelligent and well-written... Lovell weaves together all the anecdotes so seamlessly, and it's such fun to read."-Wendy Smith, Los Angeles Times

Straight on Till Morning by Mary S. Lovell Straight on Till Morning, Paperback (October 2011)

The New York Times bestseller: "Every page is filled with revelations, gossip and fascinating details about Markham."-Diane Ackerman, The New York Times Book Review

Amelia Earhart by Mary S. Lovell Amelia Earhart, Paperback (August 2009)

* Reissue of the acclaimed biography of aviator Amelia Earhart

» View all books by Mary S. Lovell


UK Kirkus Review » Linguist, anthropologist, explorer, diplomat, swordsman, insatiable eroticist. Burton was the most multi-talented of the eminent Victorians, and the most disreputable, a magnet for friendship and bitter enmity in equal measure. Isabel's worship of him never wavered. To cope with the mysterious alchemy of such a union is beyond this solemn, matter-of-fact biography, but it is the most thoroughly researched account of the remarkable couple to date. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » A refreshing historical narrative, from Beryl Markham biographer Lovell. Sergeant Joe Friday would have approved of Lovell's investigative technique: just the biographical facts, ma'am. She takes the linear route, starting at the beginning and ending at the end, which is not to say the book is without filigree or incapable of veering off into various interesting byways. Material that has been handled in any number of biographies of Richard Burton is presented here with a storyteller's grace. One reads of his vagabond youth, when he was a hellion and snubber of authority; his sensual and intellectual hunger, his ability to sop up knowledge and languages like a sponge; the African and Arabian exploits, the sunstroke, dysentery, malaria, syphilis, agues, lameness, and blindness. And there are the controversies, with his colleague John Speke, with the prim hypocrites of Victorian England, with everybody at the British Foreign Office. Lovell does an equally thorough job with Isabel: the tony youth, the London season and the circuit of balls, through the years working and traveling with Richard. What Lovell offers that is new is acute observations (mostly the result of finding untapped caches of primary documents) regarding the nature of Richard and Isabel's relationship (it appears, contrary to accepted folklore, to have been amorous and loving), and Richard's sexuality and pursuit of erotica (Lovell ventures opinions only when supported by historical evidence - "I confess to a sinking feeling when I see phrases such as 'he was tortured by sexual guilt' in any biography"). She also has some sensible things to say about Isabel's purported torching of Richard's manuscripts - including both copies of the erotic The Scented Garden - after his death. It is a pleasure to read someone who takes such obvious joy in her art: the broad biographical canvases, the tableaux vivants, the little mysteries that delight and vex her. The Burtons inhabit these pages, not as ghosts, but as presences. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Mary S. Lovell

A former accountant and Company Director Mary Lovell now lists her chief interests as horses, sailing, aviation and book collecting. She enjoys overseas travel and is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. She is the author of four previous biographies including the international bestseller STRAIGHT ON TILL MORNING: The Biography of Beryl Markham.

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