Welcome to the twenty-first century home of the nineteenth century explorer, linguist, soldier, swordsman, writer, poet and translator Sir Richard Francis Burton.
Do what thy manhood bids thee do, from none but self expect applause;
He noblest lives and noblest dies who makes and keeps his self-made laws.
All other Life is Living Death, a world where none but Phantoms dwell,
A breath, a wind, a sound, a voice, a tinkling of the camel-bell.
— from The Kasidah of Haji Abdu el-Yezdi
“translated” by Richard Francis Burton
Burton has become a half-remembered, much-mythologized and little-studied figure in all his many fields, and is often found trapped in Sherlockian amber, a quaint figure studied in isolation as an relic of the Victorian age, rarely evaluated in serious fashion and more the province of collectors than of scholars and historians. Burton died in 1890 after an almost inconceivably accomplished and adventurous life. Many of his era, and of much older eras, some greatly less accomplished, remain vibrant and lifelike in the collective conscious. It is a sad thing that a fascinating titan like Burton has fallen into such small and faint repute in our age.
It is my aim, through this web site and other efforts, to lift Burton from his dusty niche and bring an understanding of the man and his full range of accomplishments to a present-day audience – to restore him to life, of a sort.