DEATH RIDES A CAMEL by Allen Edwardes


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Biographer Allen Edwards trumpets: Now it can be told, the true story of England's Sir Richard Burton; and off Edwardes prances with a purple-prose portrait of that giant of 19th century explorers, a water color more at home in the pages of a paperback novelette than anything the Royal Geographic Society would publish -- at least, for public consumption. Actually the author calls it an ""expose"" and, by gad, he's right: sumptuous squalor, charivari characters, drumfire dramatics and bellowing Burton as an observer of and occasional participant in a thousand-and-one nights of a pre-Kraft-Ebbing entertainment. There are eunuchs, sodomists, onanists, nymphos, polygamists, aphrodisiacs, brothels -- both female and male --, cultists of cannibalism, circumcision: in short, a thesaurus of four-letter temptations, which Burton enthusiastically encounters on pathbreaking journeys through and writings about Darkest Africa, the Arabic and Indian worlds, and the Americas. Interspersed is a Victorian romance and marriage with Isabel Arundell, a Roman Catholic beauty, who spouts such immortalisms as ""Dick, I worship ambition!"" and ""I'll keep it next to my heart with your picture every minute of every day you're gone"". He is gone quite often; he calls her Zoo or Puss. Other titillations: a homoerotic relationship with Speke, a fellow adventurer who later commits suicide, and people like Swinburne, Carlyle, Rossetti, all indulging in philosophic smut. The opus might have been dubbed (pace Miss Winsor), Forever Richard, or (pace Mr. Franklin) Poor Richard's Sexalmanac. Hollywood please note: it would make a great banned movie. For sensation seekers and pseudo-intellectuals.

Publisher: Julian Press