After his diplomatic sojourn in Syria as consul in Damascus, Richard Francis Burton (1821-90) published, in 1872, this two-volume account of nineteenth-century Syria. It is the result of collaboration with several partners with specific expertise, primarily Charles Frederick Tyrwhitt Drake (1846-74) but also Burton's wife. Throughout his life Burton immersed himself in as many different cultures as possible. His natural aptitude for languages and disguise allowed him to frequently pass himself off as a native. The two years he was consul were eventful, including local uprisings, an assassination attempt and religious strife. This work reveals the unknown and extraordinary side of Syria. In Volume 1, Burton and Drake use their experiences of living and travelling in the country, and those of friends and colleagues, to explore the geography, natural history, politics and culture of remote provinces.