Burton, Isabel

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Burton, Isabel Gender: F
Arundell, Isabel
born on 20 March 1831 at 08:50 (= 08:50 AM )
Place London, England, 51n30, 0w10
Timezone LMT m0w10 (is local mean time)
Data source
Rodden Rating B
Collector: Rodden
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_piscol.18.gif 29°01' s_mo.18.gif s_gemcol.18.gif 21°37 Asc.s_gemcol.18.gif 12°07'

Isabel Burton (1861)


British adventuress who married Richard Burton on 22 January 1861 and traveled with him around the world. Born to luxury as the refined daughter of a well-to-do Catholic family, Isabelle was expected to marry well and her mom objected to Burton, penniless and not a Christian. He had a reputation for being an unstable and rather off-color fellow. His normally fierce look was made more so by a scar from a Berber spear that had cut through one cheek into his mouth. This did not stop 29-year-old Isabel from falling hopelessly in love with him from the time they first met in 1851. She had gone to an astrologer who told her that her life would be "all wandering, change and adventure," and Burton seemed her destiny. She trained herself to be a poor man's wife by practicing small economies. She was an excellent equestrian, and took lessons in fencing.

Five years passed before they were secretly engaged and another five before she went against her parents wishes and eloped to London with Burton, where they married on 22 January 1861.

Her marriage was undoubtedly one of lifelong passion and devotion, though Richard continued his intellectual and sexual adventures through the periods when they were apart.

Isabel herself was not exactly a conventional homemaker. A lover of animals, she kept a panther cub as a pet in Damascus. She went into the harems to cull information for her husband, and often nursed the sick, not the least daunted by unbelievable squalor. At times, she wore Arab costumes in order to fit in where women are not welcomed.

When he became consul, they went to Damascus in 1869 and Trieste, Italy, in 1872. He published his first book in 1875, just before they moved to India.

Burton died on 20 october 1890, Trieste, Austria-Hungary. After his death, Isabel went through his papers, letters and manuscripts, putting many of them into the fire. Though it seemed an inestimable loss of unpublished material, she felt that she was protecting him by destroying an essay that was bigoted toward Jews and some of his more extreme political views. She also destroyed his work on a translation of another porno classic, "The Scented Garden." She designed a stone mausoleum in the shape of a desert tent, complete with camel bells to tinkle in the wind, for her beloved Richard. At her death of cancer five years later, on 22 March 1896, London, she was interred in the same mausoleum.

Link to Wikipedia biography



  • Relationship : Marriage 22 January 1861 (Richard Burton)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Family : Change residence 1869 (Damascus)
  • Family : Change residence 1872 (Trieste, Italy)
  • Death by Disease 22 March 1896 (Cancer, age 65 plus two days)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Modern Astrology quotes her own written statement. Same in biography by Leslie Blanch, "The Wilder Shores of Love." Same in "Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton", Chs Scribner's Sons, New York, 1990, p.170.

Sy Scholfield quotes her in "The Romance of Isabel, Lady Burton: The Story of Her Life" by Lady Isabel Burton and ‎William Henry Wilkins (Hutchinson & Company, 1897), p. 14: "For those who like horoscopes, I was born on a Sunday at ten minutes to 9 a.m., March 20, 1831, at 4, Great Cumberland Place, near the Marble Arch."


  • Traits : Personality : Eccentric (Unconventional life)
  • Diagnoses : Major Diseases : Cancer (Terminal)
  • Family : Relationship : Marriage more than 15 Yrs (29 Years)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Marriages (One, lasting)
  • Family : Relationship : Sexual chemistry
  • Family : Relationship : Widowed
  • Family : Parenting : Kids none
  • Lifestyle : Home : Many moves
  • Lifestyle : Home : Neighborhood (Foreign countries)
  • Vocation : Travel : Adventurer (Traveled Europe, Asia with Sir Richard)
  • Notable : Famous : Historic figure (Adventurer)
  • Notable : Book Collection : Profiles Of Women