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Richard Burton

(1821—1890) explorer and author


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(1821–90)

Anglo-Irish scholar and explorer. He joined the Indian Army in 1842 and while employed in military intelligence, he claimed to have learnt 35 languages. He travelled widely; in 1853, disguised as a Pathan, he went on a pilgrimage to Mecca. In 1857–59 he led an expedition into uncharted east central Africa to discover the source of the White Nile. It reached the great lakes of East Africa, but it was Burton's companion John Speke who made the final discovery. Later Burton explored West Africa and South America.

He drafted over 80 volumes on the sociology and anthropology of the countries he visited, most of which were published. He also published over 20 volumes of translations, including an unexpurgated translation of The Arabian Nights.

Subjects: Literature


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