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The Collector of Worlds
‘An entrancing novel . . . Troyanov writes with the sort of specificity that makes his readers savour each detail and each line.’ Financial Times1842. A young Richard Burton sails out to India with the East India Company. On arrival it is obvious, as his local servant narrates, that Burton is different than the other soldiers in the Raj, eager to explore the languages and haunts of the locals rather than staying in camp.The Collector of Worlds then follows Burton’s travels around the Middle East and Africa, again narrated by the people around him: the Ottoman governor of the Hijaz, who is conducting an enquiry into Burton’s journey to the holy places, and the former African slave who guides Burton to Lake Tanganyika. Driven by a potent combination of sympathy, curiosity, and courage, Burton was to become a great explorer while repeatedly risking his life and reputation.A prize-winning bestseller across Europe, The Collector of Worlds is a compelling fictional retelling of the extraordinary life of Sir Richard Burton, one of the most intriguing and controversial figures of the Victorian age.‘Troyanov is an excellent storyteller and his tale contains vivid scenes of enchantment, erotic encounter and horror.’ TLS‘Consistently satisfying . . . The novel marshals its many voices in perfect pitch.’ Giles Foden, author of The Last King of Scotland