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Cover for Ruffian Dick

Ruffian Dick

A Novel of Sir Richard Francis Burton

Joseph Kennedy, John Enright


List Price: 24.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Lust and adventure meet history in this ride through roughshod America that rings truer than any history book.

Uncovered from the ashes of the British Consulate in Trieste, an archaeological excavation has found the once-thought destroyed and very private journal of Richard Burton, a man regarded as perhaps one of the greatest intellects, rogues, and colorful adventurers of the nineteenth century. In the journal’s pages a different man comes to light: here is Richard Burton unplugged and uncensored—the Renaissance man of his age fully revealed.

Presented as a transcription of the once-lost journal, Ruffian Dick follows the famous British adventurer into the true wilderness of American politics and the Wild West, all while the country is on the brink of the Civil War. Based on the historical fact that Burton actually did visit the United States in 1860, and traveled cross-country to study and write about the then-notorious polygamous Mormons in their stronghold at Salt Lake City, Joseph Kennedy’s Doctorow-esque mixture of fact and fiction takes the reader deep into that place and time.

With Kennedy’s research and eye for historic detail, Ruffian Dick (as Burton was known to his contemporaries) is an adventure tale that brings to light a side of the famed explorer never seen before.

Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade, Yucca, and Good Books imprints, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in fiction—novels, novellas, political and medical thrillers, comedy, satire, historical fiction, romance, erotic and love stories, mystery, classic literature, folklore and mythology, literary classics including Shakespeare, Dumas, Wilde, Cather, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

Yucca, 9781631581021, 248pp.

Publication Date: October 25, 2016

About the Author

Joseph Kennedy, recently deceased, was a professional archaeologist and writer living in Hawaii who had spent a great deal of time in both England and America researching the life of Sir Richard Burton. Kennedy is also the author of the books Coca Exotica, The Tropical Frontier, and The North Shore of O’ahu and was a regular contributor to Natural History magazine. In addition to many publications in professional journals, he had also written for Scientific American’s Discovering Archaeology, Mobius magazine, Pacifica, Archaeology, Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, and Hawaii Architectural Digest. He lived in Haleiwa, Hawaii.

John Enright’s essays, articles, short stories, and poems have appeared in more than seventy books, anthologies, journals, periodicals, and online magazines. After serving stints in semipro baseball, the Lackawanna steel mills, and the publishing industry in New York, San Francisco, and Hong Kong, Enright taught at American Samoa Community College in Pago Pago. He and Kennedy were lifelong friends. Today, Enright and his wife live in Jamestown, Rhode Island.