Sir Richard Burton: a study of his literary works relating to the Arab world and Islam
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This thesis is concerned with a critical analysis from a Moslem's point of view of Sir Richard Burton's works relating to the Arab World and Islam. The research will attempt to establish the merits and shortcomings of Burton's works in the light of the proposed research. It will, however, at the same time attempt to establish from internal evidence the extent and nature of Burton's knowledge of both Arabic and Islam. The thesis is divided into seven chapters, each of which deals with one or more of Burton's works. Chapter one deals with Burton's pilgrimage to Mecca and El-Medinah. Chapter two deals with the collection of proverbs "Proverbia Communia Syriaca." Chapter three covers Burton's Kasidah and discusses his interest in Sufism and spiritualism. Chapter four concentrates on his translation of The Arabian Nights paying particular attention to the annotations and "Terminal Essay." Chapter five deals with The Perfumed Garden and tries to make a comparison between Burton's translation and its Arabic original in order to estimate to what extent could Burton's Garden be taken as a representative of the original. Chapter six deals with Burton's three essays The Jew, The Gypsy and El-Islam. This chapter concentrates on Burton's religious loyalty and also points out the true reasons behind writing these essays. Chapter seven touches upon almost all his other works and translations. It attempts to establish and prove the fact that the study of the grabs and Islam and the interest in them was a life-long obsession with Burton rather than a temporary occupation. The conclusion attempts to put together the findings of all the other chapters. However, it will concentrate on pointing out where did really Burton's religious and racial loyalties lie as well as give a brief and concluding comment of the nature and extent of his knowledge of both the Arabic language and Islam. The eight appendixes that follow the research include technical data ranging from Burton's background reading to the listing of topics he studied or referred to in the Moslem religion.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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