Sir Richard Burton

image of Richard Burton

Sir Richard Burton was a British explorer, soldier, translator, writer, poet, hypnotist, orientalist scholar, fencer, ethnologist, folklorist, linguist, diplomat and inveterate opium smoker. Burton picked up his lifelong habit for "that sweetest of all smokes" in India, where he translated the Karma Sutra. Even while searching for the source of the Nile in Africa, Burton took along his skilled Indian pipe boy whose sole purpose - gossip aside - was to cart around his opium-smoking paraphernalia and prepare his opium pipes for smoking.

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