The Myrtle Press is publishing Tom Rubython’s new book, And God Created Burton, on 15th May 2011.
The publishers state that the 864-page biography is the first proper and fully detailed account of the life of Richard Burton, who died on August 1984, aged only 58. In 49 carefully researched and written chapters, every aspect of Burton’s life is looked and examined. The book is over 300,000 words long.
The book is described by the publishers as a “sweeping saga spanning 1898 to 1984 - stretching from the mining areas of South Wales to the film sets of Hollywood.” The book is a sensational account that tells Burton’s story from A to Z and leaves nothing out – good or bad. The publishers are confident that there has been nothing like it before.
The biography focuses on three main areas:
1) Burton’s personal life
He married five times and simultaneously carried the life of a playboy for virtually the entire length of his marriages, sleeping with an estimated 2,500 different women throughout his life. The book examines in detail the six main relationships of his life: his four wives (Sybil Williams, Elizabeth Taylor [twice], Suzy Hunt and Sally Hay) and his two significant mistresses (actresses Claire Bloom and Susan Strasberg).
2) Burton’s finances
By his own account, Burton earned the sum of US$75 million in his career, stretching from 1950 to 1984. In today’s money, that sum equates to nearly US$500 million, making him easily Britain’s highest ever paid actor. The new book dissects in details those earnings, his expenses, and how he lost most of it in his four divorces.
3) Burton’s acting career
Destined to go down the Welsh pits and become a coal miner just like all his ancestors and five of his seven brothers before him, Burton instead was mentored by four brilliant men and one brilliant woman who ultimately took him out of South Wales, onto the London stage and towards Hollywood stardom.
*For the first time, we see presented the complete story of the terrible hatred that he felt for his natural father, leading him to decline to attend the latter’s funeral. The author describes how his father’s brutal behaviour, previously airbrushed by the family, effectively killed Burton’s mother.
* For the first time the full story of Richard Burton’s effective adoption by a schoolteacher, called Philip Burton, and the amazing process that saw his strong Welsh accent replaced with a voice that had no rival in its resonance and diction.
*The alcohol addiction that dogged Burton’s life and the continual arguments with his wives, who sought to clean him up and help him rebuild his life after drink forced his career into the gutter in the late seventies.
* For the first time, Burton’s remarkable intellect is analysed and discussed by the people who knew him best. The author concludes that there has never been a more intelligent actor in the history of theatre and film.
* The most comprehensive account of the last days of Burton’s life and the people he left behind.
* 64 pages of photographs, over 200 in all, chronicling Richard Burton’s extraordinary life from start to finish.
On sale from Sunday 15th May