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August 01, 2008


Tim Abbott

Bingo for both of you. Well done. Burton was an old India hand before his "Mountains of the Moon" trek. He also translated the Kama Sutra.


I forget how he got the scar, but it looks like Richard Burton. More interesting than Indiana Jones! Made it to Mecca in disguise! Definitely one person I'd always invite to the fictional "If you could invite 5 dead people" dinner party. And, the story of his romance with his wife Isabel is wonderful (even if she did burn his papers, at his request).


(this from memory and w/out aid of either Net or Google Image Search)

Richard Francis Burton. Explorer, linguist, author, scholar of comparative religions. Involved in the search for the roots of the Nile (during one of which expeditions, he received a spear through the cheek and endured almost an entire day with the thing before it could be removed). Translator of (relatively) unexpurgated version of "The Tales of 1001 Nights." One of the first Westerners/feringhi to penetrate Mecca, in disguise as a Muslim fakir. Large volume of his personal papers burned by his straitlaced wife after his death. Definitely a larger-than-life Victorian.

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