First Footsteps in East Africa: Or, an Exploration of Harar
Sir Richard Burton (1821-1890), the famous Victorian explorer, began his career in the Indian army in 1842. While in India he developed his ... Show synopsis Sir Richard Burton (1821-1890), the famous Victorian explorer, began his career in the Indian army in 1842. While in India he developed his linguistic talent, mastering more than forty different languages and dialects. He turned to writing books in the 1850s and, over the remaining forty years of his life, published dozens of works and more than one hundred articles. In this book, first published in 1856, Burton recounts his travels to Harar, a city in East Africa notorious for its slave trade activity. His plan was a challenging one, as it was believed that no European had been there before; upon arrival he claimed to be an agent of the British government and presented himself to the ruler of Harar. Burton was allowed to spend ten days there, and his account give a fascinating glimpse into a then unknown city and culture.