An interesting man who went from being a naval lieutenant who suffered from joint pain then became blind and traveled the world alone. Fascinating! And this all takes place from 1787-1857. James Holman was an apothecary/shop owner's son who was destined to follow in his father's footsteps when family fortunes changed. He goes to the Navy at 12 and expects to be there for the rest of his life but his health turns bad and he must retire on half-salary. He becomes a Naval Knight of Windsor to retain his half-salary. He absents himself a lot from his duties as he travels the world. What is does and how he learns his way around with short funds and limited language skills is remarkable.
I loved that the history of the time is explained and that what is happening in the countries he explores is also given. That he often is on naval vessels and helps is remarkable. I also enjoyed seeing the societal downsides of his times. He is a remarkable man. I am glad the bookseller recommended it as I was checking out. Excellent read!