Sir Richard Burton was an explorer, linguist, scholar, soldier, anthropologist, and writer. Burton used his own resources to fund expeditions to map new trade routes, identify and catalogue natural resources, and analyze political, religious, and economic systems in foreign countries. He is probably best known for his expeditions with John Hanning Speke to find the source of the Nile, which he accomplished in 1858. He is also known for the first English translations of the "Kama Sutra" and the "Arabian Nights". This biography was written by Burton's niece in an effort to "tell the truth concerning one who can no longer defend himself" and to "supply.the story of a great traveler's life in popular form." It is, simply, quite a journey to follow of one of the 19th century's most intriguing characters.