Saturday, July 19, 2008
A Sense of the World
It's been a while since I have made an entry. We are at the height of the season at the Piqua Historical Area and, I can tell you with confidence, a corset, five petticoats, stockings and a cap do not mix well with a week of 90 degree heat! Anyhow, I finally found a minute to sit down and make a few entries. The first is a recommendation of a book.
Did you know that the most travelled individual in the 19th century was a blind man? Neither did I. While searching for an audio book to listen to on a long trip, I happened upon 'A Sense of the World' by Jason Roberts. Not only do I recommend it for the writer's wit and talent, but for the sheer wonder of the story. James Holman was a young twenty-something lieutenant in the British Navy when he went unexpectedly and completely blind. He also suffered from something the physicians of the age called 'flying gout', meaning he had severe debilitating pain in his limbs. Despite this, through the sheer will and wanderlust of the man, he managed to travel a quarter of a million miles in his life - BY HIMSELF - visiting and reporting on far-flung lands like Siberia and Ceylon. He was, in the 1830's, a celebrity. He was, also, a remarkably humorous, gentle and cheerful individual. I have been astonished, amused and stunned over and over in the reading of this book. Really, I cannot say enough. Go get a copy. You won't regret it. And please take a minute to visit the author's website. It's great too. http://www.jasonroberts.net/holman.html