Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Sir Richard Burton - Victorian explorer

Visited the Richard Burton archive at Orleans House gallery on the riverside in Twickenham, as part of my dissertation research.

Stumbled across this rockery in York House Gardens

Started with one of his middle eastern clogs and the label written by his wife, Isobel.

 One of his slippers he wore on his pilgrimage to Mecca as art of the Hajj.

His fencing shoe - apparently he would fence with his wife every morning when he wasn't on his expeditions - sounds like a good new years resolution ...

Gun designed by Sir Richard Burton, adapted to be easily fired from a horse or camel.

Kallitype photos from the album in the archive - he was attacked by Somali warriors in 1855 and was impaled by a spear, the point entering one cheek and exiting the other, he was forced to make his escape with the weapon still transfixing his head  - reminds me of one of my favourite Glen Baxter drawings .

Rules for my guidance as a wife - written by his wife, Isobel 
I like rule 5 - "Be prepared at any moment to follow him at an hours notice and rough it like a man "

"The Pilgrim", from Burton's Personal Narrative (Burton disguised as "Haji Abdullah", 1853)

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