By Richard Francis Burton
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year:2011
Online Publication Date:January 2012
Original Publication Year:1864
Subjects: African History , Social and Population History
Sir Richard Burton (1821–1890) the famous Victorian explorer, began his career in the Indian army in 1842. While in India he developed his linguistic talent, mastering more than forty different languages and dialects. He turned to writing books in the 1850s and, over the remaining forty years of his life, published dozens of works and more than one hundred articles. He spent part of his career as British consul in Fernando Po (present-day Equatorial Guinea) in West Africa, and used this as an opportunity to explore the region. In 1861, he was sent on a mission, recounted in this two-volume work of 1864, to Dahomey (present-day Benin) to urge the king to put a stop to the local slave trade. In Volume 1 Burton tells of his voyage along the West African coast and arrival in Dahomey, where he is presented to the king.