This novel is about Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton KCMG FRGS (19 March 1821 – 20 October 1890), who was an explorer, littérateur and professional maverick who had the ability to change his character and appearance as slickly as a chameleon on a painter’s palette. In the late 19th century, there were still undiscovered realms in the British Empire, and Sir Richard had a yen to find the source of the Nile. En route, he inveigled himself into the cultures of the countries in which he lived, even making the hajj pilgrimage, indistinguishable from a devout Muslim Arab.
In this book, Troyanov has created more than a novelized history of the famous Englishman’s life. He recreates the exotic worlds – Eastern and Western – in which Sir Richard lived, immersing the reader as completely and convincingly as Sir Richard had been, when he had absorbed his identity into these foreign cultures.
Multi-award winning Troyanov won the Leipzig Book Fair Prize in the category of fiction for The Collector of Worlds – originally published in German as Der Weltensammler.)