Sir Richard Francis Burton, born in 1821, was perhaps the most colorful British explorer of the 19th century. A tall man, with broad shoulders, a large head, and a drooping black mustache, he was a swordsman, a drinker, a brawler, and a practical joker.
As a young intelligence officer in India, he stunted his military career with a report on homosexual brothers in Karachi, but he learned at least nine languages (not including the 60 words of monkey he picked up from his pet troop), and he developed a habit of wearing disguises to go where white men were not welcome – in Mecca he posed as a Pathan born of Afghan parents in India. One of his best-known, but most unhappy explorations was with John Speke to find the source of the Nile.
In 1860 Burton left England and his fiancé to explore the American West and visit the Mormons. [blurb from Narrative Press]