Victorian Sex Explorer

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Actor and writer Rupert Everett takes a revealing and witty journey, retracing the steps of one of his great heroes the infamous author, Victorian explorer and sexual adventurer, Sir Richard Burton. Labelled “Dirty Dick”, in part for his translations of the Kama Sutra and The Arabian Nights, to others Burton was a pioneer, bringing new cultural ideas of sex and religion from the East to the West. Everett’s journey takes him from Bombay’s brothels to the dancing girls of Egypt, along the way taking in Turkish baths and nunneries, meeting Eunuchs and Sufis. Through these exotic social and sexual worlds Everett discovers some common ground with Burton, both as a writer and explorer of sexual and personal identity. Presented as part of BBC’s Victorian Passions season, a collection of four films that reappraises and contradicts the traditional view of Victorian society as prudish and straight – laced. It looks at the obsessions and passions that drove some Victorians to challenge the conventions that governed sex, class and race to reveal an era with an insatiable appetite for new sensation and adventure.