Monday, March 19, 2012

March 19, Sir Richard Burton's birthday

Sir Richard Burton1821 Sir Richard Burton, British consul, explorer, translator, and orientalist.

Burton travelled alone and in disguise to Mecca, translated Arabian Nights and the erotic classics Kama Sutra and The Perfumed Garden, journeyed with John Hanning Speke to discover the great lakes of Africa and the sources of the Nile, visited with Mormon leader Brigham Young in Salt Lake City, Utah, travelled far and wide, and wrote much. He later served as British Consul in Trieste, Damascus, and Fernando Po, and was knighted in 1866.
Burton died on October 20, 1890. His widow, Isabel Arundel Gordon, allegedly burned many of his papers, because she prudishly believed they would be harmful to his (and her) reputation due to sexually explicit content. This, however, is disputed.


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