The Uroborus Papers
English explorer, Orientalist, and author.
Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton
Knight of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George
Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society
A noted English explorer, Orientalist, and author, Burton’s explorations ranged from Africa to the Middle East. His army service included seven years in India and the Crimean War; his duties with the British diplomatic service took him to Brazil, Damascus, and Trieste. A master of several Eastern languages, Burton (disguised as as an Afghan pilgrim) became one of the first Europeans to enter the city of Medina and of Mecca, the sacred Moslem city, in 1853. In 1858, Burton and another Englishman, John Speke, discovered Lake Tanganyika. Knighted in 1886 for his exploits, Burton has recently become known for his definitive translation of The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night.