Doughty Travellers

  • Rana Kabbani


In his biography of Richard Burton, Byron Farwell begins by stating that ‘the explorer is always a civilized man; exploration is an advanced intellectual concept’.1 Therefore, he argues, it is a concept unknown to primitive peoples, and one that remains incomprehensible to women. This observation points to qualities that are intrinsic to exploration — especially the kind of exploration that concerns us here, that which produces travel narrative; first, that it is linked to politics, a more accurate term than Farwell’s ‘civilisation’, and second, that it is patriarchal, even when undertaken by women such as Hester Stanhope or Gertrude Bell who were capable enough of grasping ‘an advanced intellectual concept’.


Sparkling Wine British Authority Religious Piety English Soldier Heroic Traveller 
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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    Byron Farwell, Burton (New York, 1963) p. 2.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    William Hazlitt, Table Talk (London, 1821; 1960) p. 189.Google Scholar
  3. 6.
    Peter Brent, Far Arabia: Explorers of the Myth (London, 1977) p. 178.Google Scholar
  4. 7.
    James Silk Buckingham, Travels in Palestine (London, 1821), p. xix.Google Scholar
  5. 10.
    T. E. Lawrence, Secret Dispatches from Arabia (London, 1939) p. 27.Google Scholar
  6. 11.
    T. E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph (London, 1935; 1965) p. 29.Google Scholar
  7. 18.
    Quoted by Isabel Burton, The Life of Capt. Sir Richard Burton (London, 1893, 2 vols) vol. II, p. 442.Google Scholar
  8. 20.
    Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, Secret History of the English Occupation of Egypt (Being a Personal Narrative of Events) (London, 1895) p. 5.Google Scholar
  9. 28.
    Lady Anne Blunt, Bedouin Tribes of the Euphrates (New York, 1879) p. 228. Wilfred Blunt wrote the preface, the postscript, and chapters 23 to 28 of this book.Google Scholar
  10. 40.
    Albert Smith, A Month at Constantinople (London, 1850) p. viii.Google Scholar
  11. 48.
    Charles Doughty, Travels in Arabia Deserta (London, 1888; 1936; 2 vols) vol. I, p. 125.Google Scholar
  12. 51.
    Norman Daniel, Islam, Europe and Empire (Edinburgh, 1966) p. 246.Google Scholar
  13. 55.
    A. J. Arberry, British Orientalists (London, 1943) p. 22.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Rana Kabbani 1986

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  • Rana Kabbani

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