He was known simply as the Blind Traveler. A solitary, sightless adventurer, James Holman (1786-1857) fought the slave trade in Africa, survived a frozen captivity in Siberia, hunted rogue elephants in Ceylon, helped chart the Australian outback-and circumnavigated the globe, becoming one of the greatest wonders of the world he so explored.
Today I'm talking with Jason Roberts, author of one of my all-time favorite history books: A Sense of the World: How a Blind Man Became History's Greatest Traveler. We get into all the impossible-to-believe stories that come from Holman's life, including:
- Holman retraining his senses to use echolocation to “see” the world around him through sight and touch
- Summiting Mt. Vesuvius as it was on the brink of eruption
- Riding horses at full gallop
- Negotiating peace between the British navy and islanders in Equatorial Guinea