Sir Richard Francis Burton was a 19th century Man of Steel!
Sir Richard Francis Burton (March 19, 1821 – October 20, 1890) was a British explorer, geographer, , translator, writer, soldier, orientalist, cartographer, spy, linguist, poet, fencer, and diplomat. He was known for his travels and explorations in Asia, Africa and the Americas, as well as his extraordinary knowledge of languages and cultures. According to one count, he spoke 29 European, Asian and African languages.
Burton's best-known achievements include a well-documented journey to Mecca, in disguise, at a time when Europeans were forbidden access, on pain of death! He also wrote a translation of One Thousand and One Nights (commonly called The Arabian Nights in English); the publication of the Kama Sutra in English; and a journey with John Hanning Speke as the first Europeans to visit the Great Lakes of Africa in search of the source of the Nile.
Burton was a prolific author and wrote numerous books and scholarly articles about subjects including human behaviour, travel, falconry, fencing, and sexual practices.