RICHARD F. BURTON, K.C.M.G.: His Early, Private and Public Life with An Account of His Travels and Explorations

(London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, 1887).

SCARCE FIRST EDITION AND THE FIRST FULL-LENGTH BIOGRAPHY OF BURTON, preceded only by a brief "Sketch" of his career in 96 pages published in 1880 and 1886. Volume I covers up to the end of 1857, halfway through the Tanganyika expedition; Volume II brings the story up to the middle of 1887; a third volume was planned, but Hitchman's death forestalled that project.
Penzer is fulsome in his praises of this early biography: "[It] is really good and contains the only 'Life' written in Burton's own lifetime, and with his own assistance, for he lent Hitchman the numerous notes which Lady Burton had written at her husband's dictation when crossing to India in 1876...When comparing this 'Life' with those that came after, we cannot help being struck with the clear way in which Hitchman carries us through each of Burton's journeys without meandering off into side-channels, which both Lady Burton and Wright were greatly inclined to do. Here we have what we need--a straight and clear history of the life of Burton as an explorer and traveller...Hitchman studied the works of Livingstone, Grant, Speke, Baker, Stanley, etc., before writing his life, so as to get thoroughly acquainted with African travel, and the result has proved worthy of the labour, for there is not a page or a line in these 900 pages which grates or irritates as there is in both Lady Burton's and Wright's 'Lives'...I have already stated that I consider Hitchman was the only biographer who did not write from some personal point of view, or for some other reason quite irrelevant to the real duties of the biographer." Item #29020

2 volumes. First edition. With 19 full-page plates and 23 illustrations in the text. 8vo, bound in later half tan cloth over marbled paper boards, spines lettered in gilt, top edges gilt, cloth covered slipcase houses the two volumes. xii, 430; x, 460 pp. An especially well preserved copy, the bindings very bright and as pristine, the text blocks and illustrations clean and in very good order.

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