New Arrival

Burton and The Scented Garden

Autograph Letter, signed (“Richard F. Burton”), to a prospective subscriber to a new edition of The Perfumed Garden, datelined Milan, 23 February 1889. [Bound with:] A Sketch of the Career of Richard F. Burton (London, 1886).


Price: $1,750.00

About the item

Letter in purple ink on a bifolium. 1 vols. 8vo. Burton and The Scented Garden. Letter: Fine. Book: Dark green half morocco, marbled sides and edges, by Birdsall. Slightly rubbed (small loss at headcap), internally fresh. Very good. Penzer pp. 304-6 ("rare").

Item #366882

The second attempt at a biography of the legendary explorer, linguist, and author Richard F. Burton, utilizing the contents of a short "Sketch" by Richards, Burton's closest friend at Oxford (published in 1880 and unobtainably rare), with new material bringing his life up to 1886 (Burton died in 1890). Contradicting Burton's own later accounts of his unpopularity, Richards wrote that Burton was "brilliant, rather wild, and very popular," at Oxford, adding however that "none of us foresaw his future greatness." The “SKetch” contains a 47-page biography and various appendices including a 13-page autobiography written around 1856. It was followed by a full-fledged treatment by Francis Hitchman the following year.
The Woodburytype portrait is striking.

With a choice late Burton letter. He writes from Milan in 1889 in purple ink, outlining the subscription terms for a proposed revised edition of The Perfumed Garden (1886): “My Scented Garden is 2 vols. 4 guineas, it will not be printed for a year”. Burton died the following year and his wife Isabel destroyed many of his manuscripts.