1991 Goa, and the Blue Mountains;  
The appearance of Goa, and the Blue Mountains in 1851 marked the public debut of that astonishingly protean Victorian, Richard Francis Burton. An explorer, soldier, consul, and connoisseur of the sword, a polyglot of unrivaled powers, a poet, translator, and prolific writer about the peoples and customs of alien lands, Burton made his first bid for attention with this account of his travels through southwestern India. As if to underscore his entry onto the British scene, he published two more
more » ... oks later in the same year-the two-volume Scinde; or, The Unhappy Valley and Sindh, and the Races That Inhabit the Valley of the Indus-and yet another, Falconry in the Valley of the Indus, in 1852. Yet few contemporaries took notice. Neither Goa nor the other books were especially well received by reviewers or readers, and the fame that Burton subsequently acquired for his adventures in Arabia and Africa cast these earlier works on India even farther in the shadows. Goa has never before now been reprinted in full, and copies of it have become exceedingly hard to find. There are many good reasons for making Goa, and the Blue Mountains available to modern readers. Richard Burton's first book deserves attention not merely because it was his first book, but because of what it tells us about the places and populations that he encountered on his journey, what it tells us about British colonial concerns in India, and what it tells us about the life and character of Burton himself. Goa describes a trip Burton made in 1847 while on sick leave from his army regiment in Sind. He traveled south from Bombay to Goa, a Portuguese colony languishing in the ruins of its past imperial glory, then to Calicut and V vi
doi:10.1525/9780520342873-001 fatcat:3eecr72hpvawrmfb2sehfldc4q