Encyclopedia of Travel Literature by Christopher K. Brown

By Christopher K. Brown

Prior to visible media, readers realized approximately international international locations, unique geographical regions, different peoples, and intrepid adventurers via go back and forth writers. the following you are going to examine Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, who died in 1817 on his go back journey from Mecca and was once buried nonetheless disguised as a Muslim; George Sand, who scandalized Europe via illegally donning trousers and wrote a singularly fascinating go back and forth publication; and Lord Byron, who fictionalized his Grand journey in Childe Harold's Pilgrimage.

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Once he passed 50 years, he slowed down slightly, serving as a British diplomat first at Damascus and then at Trieste.  Intellectually voracious, a master of disguises, astoundingly widely read, a frightful womanizer, a ferocious warrior, a master storyteller, and infinitely adaptable to obscure or extreme situations, Burton towers above all other travelers.  To expand his journey into an even more impressive gambit, he set out to reach not only Mecca but Medina (burial place of the prophet Muhammad) as well.

To top it all off, her book is beautifully written and full of drama as well as humor.  Upon her return, she was lauded as a hero, an adventurer, and an ambassador of peace and goodwill.  Again she proved wildly successful, in terms of both profitability and social conscience.  Though fine in quality, these writings do not fall under the scope of this project.  She was often the voice of the powerless and the poor—both men and women—and assuredly countless followers lived vicariously through her bold journey around the world.

To expand his journey into an even more impressive gambit, he set out to reach not only Mecca but Medina (burial place of the prophet Muhammad) as well.  And although his risks were monumental, he returned with an affected air of nonchalance.  Indeed, for Burton, it appears that the journey itself is the object of the exercise; the rewards are the return home, the glory, and the story rather than the actual arrival at the destination.  To be sure, he accomplished his mission in grand form.  As a portrait of a traveler rather than of a place, this is fine literature indeed.

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