One could imagine the premise of Sir Richard Burton's Pilgrimage to Medina and Mecca being pitched as a madcap, Mrs. Doubtfire-style comedy: A romantic, self-styled member of the British aristocracy cons his way into the Muslim holy land by pretending to be a wandering dervish…it's the reverse-Borat! But Burton plays it straight in this classic of travel literature. Patrick Tull brings a vinegary pluck to Sir Richard's Herodotean tale of adventure and amateur anthropology. Likely to be as fascinating a window into the 19th-century British mind as into the Arab world, Pilgrimage to Medina and Mecca remains one of the history's most brazen and fascinating stories of cross-cultural exploration.
Explorer, adventurer and linguistic genius, Sir Richard Francis Burton was the first Englishman to enter Mecca, the holy city of Muslims. Fluent in Arabic and the traditions of Islam, Burton joined the hajj - the pilgrimage to Mecca - incognito. The Royal Geographical Society hoped Burton's efforts would add detail to the "huge white blot" on their Arabian maps. His resulting Pilgrimage to Medina and Mecca was of great anthropological and literary merit, and brought him much notoriety.
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This audio book was entertaining but lacked continuity. It’s difficult to condense two volumes into a short summery. If you can find the time read: Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah & Meccah, by Sir Richard F. Burton, from Dover Press, in two volumes. Tull, the narrator, was good…
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