Burton on the Web

This site has the aim of becoming the most complete and dynamic Burton repository and nexus on the web, but that does not instantly outmode or lessen the many other sites presently in existence. There will always be room for as many sites as there are interested persons, and not all will, can be or should be subsumed into one.

This section of the site will list all of the quality Burton material sites that can be located and attempt to keep the listing up to date. For those sites that contain information or material that will not be duplicated or overshadowed here, I will attempt to provide complete cross-indexing to make use of these other sites as seamless as possible.


I have planned this web site for many years and of course made occasional sweeps of the existing sites to see if anything new had appeared. My searches turned up only the expected small and often dusty sites time and again... so imagine my surprise when, as I was preparing to bring this site public, I found a relatively new site that not only took a similar approach to my plans but was stuffed to the page breaks with Burton material.

For a short time I was dismayed that I would be competing with the first real web Burtonite to come along in... well, perhaps ever. After thoroughly examining the site and corresponding with its proprietor, I was relieved to find that while his site is extensive and covers some of the ground I had planned to include, there is little overlap in the goals and intentions. There is room for at least two quality sites devoted to Burton, and if this site were to bring nothing to the game but the vast library of online Burton works — and it has much more already! — I will be delighted to have it alongside mine in the ether. I think that anyone with a serious interest in Burton will bookmark both sites and alternate frequent visits to each.

Sir Richard F. Burton on the Web [offline]

This was for many years the best Burton site on the web, not because of its own content (it has very little) but for the site proprietor's maintenance of more than 100 links to Burton sites and material scattered throughout the web. It has not been updated for some time and the general links section of this page will likely supplant it in time. But a debt of thanks is due the proprietor for taking the time to keep the candle burning all these long, lonely years!

1 September 2008: This entire web site complex has been offline for several months now. It can be reached via browser, but only a blank page is displayed, usually after a long load time. I suspect there is a broken database involved. Email to the site proprietor has gone unanswered.


Richard Leveson's site is a cheerful potpourri of subjects, not the least of which is a set of excellent pages on Burton. There is no attempt at complete or comprehensive information, but the individual pages on Burton topics are each quite interesting. Note that the organization of the pages and the links is a bit idiosyncratic; keep looking and you'll find more there than first appears.

By far the most interesting and useful information regards Leveson's two visits to Burton's tomb in London, five years apart. It was from this page that I learned of the plate window on the rear, and spent much time poring over the photos of the interior. Leveson brings to the discussion a minor mystery... a photograph seen in the tomb in 1996, but missing five years later in 2001. As the tomb is tightly sealed and has not been opened since a brief look in the 1980s, it's a real “locked room mystery”!

The Sir Richard Burton Society [defunct]

I include this defunct listing only to be complete, as this site still shows up in most online searches under both the name above and its later nomen “The Annals of Sir Richard Burton.” Note that this site in no way represented an organization or group.

The site proprietor, a librarian at Drexel University, created the site as an web site design exercise and chose Burton as a suitable candidate for the site's topic. He is not, however, a Burton scholar, and after some time he grew tired of fielding inquiries he did not feel he could adequately answer. So as to reduce any misleading of visitors as to the site's level, he renamed the site and removed all contact information. In early 2008, in part because of the appearance of this site, he removed the pages from the web.

The site contained a brief biographical sketch and decent-length summaries of writings by and about Burton, but little more. Salute it, though, for keeping the Burton flame alight online!

Page Updated 2008-09-01


All material on this site is from and in the public domain unless specifically credited. Complete copyright information can be found on the About page. All original material including content, design, organization & layout ©2008 James D. Gifford.