In part one, we meet Isabel Burton who in her youth read all about the exploits and adventures of Richard Burton, the incredibly famous warrior for hire, adventurer, linguist, archaeologist, and translator. So she decided to marry him. Their marriage together involved a kind dynamic we see a lot now with celeb married to a normie, with a heavy dose of codependency and compromise. They also spent incredibly long periods of time apart from one another too.
In part two, we meet Jane Digby, contemporary of the Burtons who kept restarting her life at various times and moving more and more toward the Near East in idea and proximity.
The last two sections blended more for me, and I was ready to be done. I still enjoyed the book, but there’s only so much of similar stories and unchecked….well, problematic ideas that you can take before you need a break. It’s an interesting book, but the stories both blend together a little and also don’t really hold up over time, in the manner they’re written about here.