The Feast of Saint Sir Richard Francis Burton

Saint Sir Richard Burton

Sunday, October 20, is the Feast of Saint Sir Richard Francis Burton. Born March 18, 1821, Sir Richard Francis Burton KCMG FRGS was a British explorer, geographer, translator, writer, soldier, orientalist, cartographer, ethnologist, spy, linguist, poet, fencer, and diplomat. He died in Trieste 20 October 1890; he and his wife, Isabel, are buried in a tomb in the shape of a Bedouin tent in Mortlake, southwest London.

According to The Invisible Basilica of Sabazius:

“Throughout his life, Burton continually sought passionately for ‘Gnosis,’ which he pursued around the world in myriad forms. He was a student of the Kaballah and of Hermeticism. He was an initiated Nagar Brahmin and Kadiri Dervish; he became a member of the Ismaili sect, which claimed decent from the Assassins; and he was at various times a formal convert to Hinduism, Tantrism, Roman Catholicism, Sikhism and Islam.”

BBC says:

“Burton was a prolific author, mainly on travel and ethnography. He also translated classical and Renaissance literature, with a particular interest in eastern erotica – he translated and printed the ‘Kama Sutra’ (1883) and ‘The Perfumed Garden’ (1886). He also published a complete edition of the ‘Arabian Nights’ (1885 – 1888).”

In honor of Burton’s travels to Mecca, here are 5 Sweet Saudi Arabian Delicacies To Try.

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