As Richard Francis Burton prepared for an exploration of the lower Congo in 1863, he scribbled a letter to his friend, Monckton Milnes:
“Starting in a hollowed log of wood—some thousand miles up a river, with an infinitesimal prospect of returning! I ask myself ‘Why?’ and the only echo is ‘damned fool! . . . the Devil drives!’”
Burton was an explorer, ethnologist, archaeologist, poet, translator and one of the three great linguists of his time.
He was an amateur physician, a botanist, a geologist, an extraordinary swordsman and a sparkling conversationalist.
He penetrated the sacred Muslim cities of Mecca and Medina at great risk and explored the forbidden city of Harar in Somaliland.
He searched for the sources of the White Nile and discovered Lake Tanganyika while Teddy Roosevelt was still a young boy.
Burton’s hunger was not only for geographical discovery, but also for the hidden within man.
This book about Sir Richard Francis Burton was written in 1967. I haven’t read it yet, but I’ll tell you later of it was as good as I’ve been told. Click it to go to its page at amazon.com