A Rage to Live by Mary S. Lovell
A Biography of Richard and Isabel Burton

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 3 Critic Reviews



An "extraordinary biography" (New York Times Book Review) of a brilliant pair of adventurers.

Their marriage was both improbable and inevitable. Isabel Arundell was a schoolgirl, the scion of England's most distinguished Catholic family. When she first saw him while walking at a seaside resort, Richard Burton had already made his mark as a linguist (he was fluent in twenty-nine languages), scholar, soldier, and explorer--at once a symbol of Victorian England's vision of empire and an avowed rebel against its mores. When she turned and saw him staring after her, she decided that she would marry him. By their next meeting, Burton had become the first infidel to infiltrate Mecca as one of the faithful, and, in an expedition to discover the source of the Nile, would soon be the first white man to see Lake Tanganyika. After being married, the Burtons traveled and experienced the world, from diplomatic postings in Brazil and Africa to hair-raising adventures in the Syrian desert. In later life Richard courted further controversy as a self-proclaimed erotologist and the translator of The Kama Sutra. Based on previously unavailable archives, Mary Lovell has written a compelling joint biography that sets Isabel in her proper place as Burton's equal in daring and endurance, a fascinating figure in her own right.

About Mary S. Lovell

See more books from this Author
Mary S. Lovell's best-selling biographies include Straight on Till Morning (Beryl Markham) and The Sisters (the Mitford family). She lives in England.
Published July 17, 2000 by W. W. Norton & Company. 944 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, Literature & Fiction, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A Rage to Live

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

A refreshing historical narrative, from Beryl Markham biographer Lovell.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of A Rage to Live: A Biography o...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Celebrated and excoriated during his lifetime, Sir Richard Francis Burton (1821-1890) was among the most eminent of Victorians. Soldier, spy, diplomat, linguist, scholar and translator of erotic ficti

Sep 28 1998 | Read Full Review of A Rage to Live: A Biography o...

Star Tribune

See more reviews from this publication

The Victorian adventurer-scholar Sir Richard Francis Burton was often misunderstood in his own time, but today appears to have been one of the most fascinating characters of the 19th century.

Dec 05 1998 | Read Full Review of A Rage to Live: A Biography o...

Reader Rating for A Rage to Live

An aggregated and normalized score based on 25 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review