Search the Collection

Sir Richard Francis Burton (1821-1890), Explorer and writer

Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue

Sitter in 8 portraits
A great traveller and linguist. He was accompanied by John Hanning Speke on his African expeditions to Somalia (1854-55) and search of the Nile's source (1856-59). He reached Lake Tanganyika in February 1858, but failed to join Speke on his first visit to Lake Victoria. Burton was dismayed on his return to Britain to find that Speke had already promoted his theory that Victoria rather than Tanganyika was the Nile's source. He set forth his position with The Lake Regions of Central Africa (1860). Burton spent most of the rest of his life in consular posts from which he continued to travel. His many works include a translation of The Arabian Nights.