New Perspectives on Sir Richard Francis Burton
New Perspectives on Sir Richard Burton by Dr. John Wallen provides exactly that: a fresh perspective from which to view one of the leading explorers and writers of the Victorian age. Burton has frequently been vilified by postcolonial writers as somehow an archetypal representative of the colonial mentality that reached out to grab an often unknown world with its all-encompassing "imperial eyes". On the other hand, hardly any figure of the period has proved so enduringly popular with average readers and enthusiasts of the Victorian age. In this scholarly book, Dr. Wallen seeks to understand this dichotomy, tracing it back to Burton's creation of his own popular myth in his life and writings: a process of self aggrandizement that has been complicated by Edward Said's more recent ambiguity on the figure of Burton in his seminal work Orientalism. In this new and improved second edition of New Perspectives, prominence is given to Burton's own myth making and his little known activities as a member of the secretive Victorian men's club known as the "Cannibal Club". A Foreword is provided by Professor Dane Kennedy of George Washington University.