Sir Richard Burton born on this date in 1821. Burton was a British linguist, poet, geographer, cartographer, translator, writer, soldier, spy, and solider who reportedly spoke 29 languages. His translation of The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, sometimes called The Arabian Nights, is one of his most celebrated works. Burton also attempted to discover the source of the Nile, and he was one of the first non-Muslims to enter Mecca. The prominent scar on Burton’s cheek was the result of an attack during his Nile trek-a javelin pierced his face, entering one cheek and exiting out the other. He later described the attack in First Footsteps in East Africa.
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