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Excerpts from Richard Burton’s Diaries Published

October 17, 1988

NEW YORK (AP) _ Richard Burton wrote in his diary that he’d love Elizabeth Taylor until he died, and recounted that he once bought her a $1.1 million ring after he told her her hands were ″large and ugly and red and masculine.″

The late Welsh actor also wrote that he was ″as thrilled by the English language as I am by a lovely woman or dreams.″

In the journals, he analyzed his relationship with Taylor, detailed the fairy-tale life they lived, and fretted about the financial cost of diamonds and the physical cost of drinking.

Excepts from a biography, which quotes from Burton’s journals, are published in November’s Life magazine. The book, ″Richard Burton: A Life 1925-1984,″ by Melvyn Bragg and Sally Burton, whom Burton married in 1983, will be published by Little, Brown in February.

″I have been inordinately lucky all my life, but the greatest luck of all has been Elizabeth,″ Burton wrote on Nov. 19, 1967. ″She is a prospectus that can never be entirely catalogued, an almanac for Poor Richard. And I’ll love her till I die.″

Burton lamented that he had insulted Taylor one night by telling her that her hands were ″large and ugly and red and masculine.″ The next morning, Taylor replied that Burton would have to buy her a diamond ring of 69 carats to make her hands less ugly. ″That insult last night is going to cost me.″ Burton wrote. He ended up spending $1.1 million for the ring.

Burton worried about Taylor’s drinking and his own. ″It would be frightful to live the rest of our lives in an alcoholic haze, seeing the world through fumes of spirits and smoke.″

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