“Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don't feel I should be doing something else.” —Gloria Steinem

    A Sense of the World

    He was known simply as the Blind Traveler—a solitary, sightless adventurer who fought the slave trade in Africa, survived a frozen captivity in Siberia, hunted rogue elephants in Ceylon and helped chart the Australian outback. Once a celebrity, a bestselling author and inspiration to Charles Darwin and Sir Richard Francis Burton, the charismatic, witty James Holman outlived his fame, dying in an obscurity that has endured—until now.


    “I see things better with my feet.” —James Holman (1786-1857)

    These pages are devoted to the extraordinary James Holman, and to the bestselling biography of this nearly-forgotten man: A Sense of the World: How a Blind Man Became History’s Greatest Traveler, by Jason Roberts.

    An introduction to James Holman, from the book. In text and audio formats.

    from the author
    What was it like to research and write A Sense of the World? Read this account.

    Hardcover, paperback, audiobook, ebook and foreign editions are catalogued here.

    Was he really history’s greatest traveller? What were his own writings like? Experience the historical record for yourself.

    Track the routes of the prodigiously restless Blind Traveller.

    frequently-asked questions (FAQ)
    Inquiries persistently posed of the author are answered here.

    further reading
    Learn more about the people whose lives intersected with Holman’s.

    national reviews
    Critical opinion on A Sense of the World in the US press.

    international reviews
    Commentary on the book from the rest of the world.

    other media
    Articles, interviews, radio shows—even an avant-garde performance inspired by the book.

    from readers
    The audience responds.

    Kind words from other authors.

    A short Q & A with Jason, conducted for the American paperback edition.


    National Book Critics Circle Award

    Guardian First Book Award

    National Bestseller
    Booksense (now Indiebound)

    #3 Nonfiction Bestseller
    S.F. Chronicle (No. California)

    A Best Book of the Year:
    Washington Post
    San Francisco Chronicle
    Kirkus Reviews
    Saint Louis Post-Dispatch
    Rocky Mountain News (Denver)
    School Library Journal