A Sense of the World

How a Blind Man Became History’s Greatest Traveller

by Jason Roberts


“He was known simply as the “Blind Traveller”, a solitary, sightless adventurer who, astonishingly, fought the slave trade in Africa, survived a frozen captivity in Siberia, hunted rogue elephants in Ceylon and helped chart the Australian outback.

“James Holman (1786 – 1857) became “one of the greatest wonders of the world he so sagaciously explored: in his day a celebrity, a best-selling author, but one who outlived his fame and died in obscurity.

“A Sense of the World is a spellbinding and moving rediscovery of one of history’s most epic lives. Drawing on meticulous research, Jason Roberts ushers us into Holman’s uniquely vivid sensory realm, then sweeps us away on an extraordinary journey across the known world during the Age of Exploration.

“Rich with suspense, humour, international intrigue and unforgettable characters, this is a story to awaken our own senses of wonder and awe.”

The above text is quoted from the back cover of the book.


Jason Roberts was the inaugural winner of the Van Zorn Prize 2005 for fiction “in the tradition of Edgar Allen Poe” by an emerging writer, an award founded and judged by Michael Chabon.

His work has appeared in McSweeney’s, The Believer and the San Francisco Chronicle, among other publications.

Find out more at the Author’s website http://www.jasonroberts.net

Simon & Schuster
Africa House 63-78 Kingsway LONDON WC2B 6AH

ISBN Paperback ISBN 0743239679