|Biography of Sir Richard|
Francis Burton (1821-1890)
He attended Trinity College, Oxford and made the acquaintance of John Henry Newman, a very different person. Burton learned his Arabic at Oxford, but he didn't like the place. He challenged another student to a duel for making fun of his mustache. He was expelled for attending a horse race and telling the college authorities about it, urging them to change the rules forbidding undergraduates from attending. On his way out of Oxford, he rode his horse into the Trinity College gardens and trampled the flowers. So there.
He went on to fight in the East India Company and learn Hindu, Persian, and quite a few local Indian languages–29 languages in all, says Wikipedia. He fought in the Crimean War.
He was honored as a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and he was awarded a knighthood, the KCMG.
He was the first European to see Lake Tanganyika. A movie based on his exploration appeared in 1999 called Mountains of the Moon. Based on reviews, a remake would be a good project.
(Thanks to Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac, on which much of this post is based.)