““A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” —Thomas Mann

    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.

    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.


    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