Sir Richard Francis Burton, the explorer not the actor

Sir Richard Burton  was born 1821 and died in 1890. He was an British explorer. Not only that, he was a geographer, translator( he spoke 29 languages fluently), writer, soldier, orientalist, cartographer, ethnologist, spy, linguist, poet, and diplomat. He explored unknown areas in Africa, Asia, and South America that no white man been there before.

He was born in Torquey, Devon, England. His father was Lt. Col. Joseph Netterville Burton of 36th Regiment.

The Burton traveled a lot. Burton had an affair with a gypsy woman.From her, he learned Romani, the language of the gypsies.

He went to Oxford. He spent time learning fencing and falconry.

He enlisted in East India Co.He fought in the First Afghan War. He went on to Bombay, India.He learned various Indian languages.He also learned Persian and Arabic. He gone so native, his fellow soldier called him, “The White Nigger.”

He tamed monkeys.

Burton learned surveying while in Bombay.He worked as a spy, disguising himself as an Arab named  Mirza Abdullah. He spied on British soldiers who went to male brothels.His detailed report made some accused him of homosexuality.

He returned to England on sick leave,Wrote his first book on Goa, India. He traveled to Bologne, Franc where he met his future wife Isabell Arundell.

He joined the British Royal Geographical Society. He went back to explore India and Arabia. He studied Islam so well,he was able to join a Hajj to Mecca. The last European to do that was Ludovicia di Varthema in 1503.He wrote about the Hajj.He went on to Somalia. From there he went to Ethiopia.

Then he went and fought in The Crimean War.

Richard Burton went on to explore African Great Lakes: Lake Victoria, Lake Albert, and Lake Tanganyika.He discovered the source of the Nile.His accounts helped David Livingston and Henry Stanley. He went on the Congo River and found Them Mountains of the Moon.

Then, he went to Brazil.

He translated Kama Sutra, 1,001 Nights, and The Perfumed Garden.


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