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Sir Richard Francis Burton
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Sir Richard Francis Burton

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Posted by Jan den Breejen ( on August 06, 2003 at 00:50:48:

This multilingual, sex-obsessed adventurer who shamelessly used the old Arabian Nights tales (He added some porn when translating) to gain a lot of money in the Victorian Age, seems to be mainly Adventurous Style.


Sir Richard Francis Burton

Richard Francis Burton was an explorer, linguist, scholar, soldier, anthropologist, and a prolific and gifted writer. He lived at a time when Europeans were agressively searching for -- and claiming -- the sources of the world's wealth. Burton (who excelled at reconnaissance, mapping, and languages) used his military commissions and scientific funding to map new trade routes, identify and catalogue valuable natural resources, and to analyze the political, religious, and economic systems in foreign countries.

Burton is probably most famous for discovering the source of the Nile River in Africa with his partner, John Hanning Speke, in 1858. He is also known as the man who translated the Arabian Nights and the Kama Sutra into English. These are respectable accomplishments, but Burton did far more than that in his lifetime.

In the past few years, however, there has been a resurgence of interest in Sir Richard Francis Burton. Several substantial books about Burton have been published, and the movie Mountains of the Moon was made about his journey to find the source of the Nile. There are also a growing number of web sites available that provide everything from full e-text copies of his writing to earnest (although brief) biographies.

I'm always interested in hearing from Burton-philes, and I'd be happy to post book reviews, photographs, links, and other resources about Burton to this site.

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