Richard Francis Burton

Richard Francis Burton
Birth 1821
Death 1890

Diplomat, ethnographer and writer. It was thanks to exceptional people like him that Britain ruled the world for so many centuries. He spoke a raft of languages and dialects and was the first person to translate the much-loved Arabian Nights and Kama Sutra into English. By masquerading as an Arab (even undergoing circumcision to maintain his disguise), he managed to get into gated Muslim cities of Mecca, Medina and Harrar and pioneered the exploration of the Great Lakes of Africa. He described the sexual practices of the tribes he encountered in great detail, measuring their sexual organs and, according to legend, taking part in individual and collective sexual acts himself.

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