English explorer and diplomat (1821-1890). Autograph letter signed ("R. F. Burton"). Trieste, Consulate. 3 pp. Small 8vo. On his blue notepaper with his Arabic heading.
$ 7,391 / 6.500 €
To the publisher and author George Bentley (1828-95), stating that he has "polished up Scinde, now 'Sind' or the Unhappy Valley, that is I have almost re-written it. As your late father was the first to publish it I think it only fair to offer it to you. The augmentations will fatten the volumes, and I have a lot of photographs and old sketches (caricatures of Sir Charles Napier etc.etc.) which I think might be introduced with advantage, but are you inclined so to do? [...]". He says he will wait, "before giving the last touches to the book and then send it [...] When you receive it you will make up your mind and let me know [...] I shall probably be at Trieste for some time, but residence is always doubtful under the F.O.
After Iceland, 6 months in India & Sind a little rest is of course desirable, to get it however is the difficulty [...]". - Burton brought Napier much detailed information on wife killing and bizarre reality although Napier had signed the death warrants of several rich convicted murderers. Napier was impressed by Burton's reports and would accept counsel from him. Burton, for example, suggested that Napier continue the practice of killing a murderer by shooting him out of a cannon rather than hanging, as a lack of proper burial would mean the Muslim would never reach paradise. Napier was disturbed by reports of homosexuality amongst the Muslims. Certain reports spoke of male brothels in Karachi which were corrupting the troops, and Napier asked Burton to investigate. Burton agreed to do this on the "express condition that my report should not be forwarded to the Bombay Government, from whom supporters of the Conqueror's policy could expect scant favour, justice, or mercy.".