Tim Severin, explorer, filmmaker, and lecturer has retraced the storied journeys of Saint Brendan the Navigator, Sindbad the Sailor, Jason and the Argonauts, Ulysses, Genghis Khan and Robinson Crusoe. His books about these expeditions are classics of exploration and travel. "
"He made his historical fiction debut with the hugely successful Viking series, followed by the Pirate and Saxonseries.
Explorer, film-maker and author, Tim Severin spoke to us about historical research, tracking mythical beasts and solving Saxon riddles.
Tim Severin – explorer, author, film-maker and lecturer – has retraced the storied journeys of Saint Brendan the Navigator, Sindbad the Sailor, Jason and the Argonauts, Ulysses, Genghis Khan and Robinson Crusoe. His books about these expeditions are classics of exploration and tr...
TimSeverinAuthor - 3 years ago
And now for something completely different! Took this photo on the bank of the Saone River in France nearly ten years ago when my (then) boat was moored to the bank. That night I heard a huge thunderstorm some distance upstream – repeated lightning flashes and peal after peal of thunder. In the dark hours the river level suddenly rose by six feet into a raging flood. This happens to Sigwulf – the central figure in SAXON, The Emperor’s Elephant - as he brings his menagerie of animals including two polar bears down-river on flatboats. The flotilla is nearly swept to disaster.
Making music aboard the early Arab trading ships was a way of passing time on the long slow voyages. Here is Eid one of my crew members from the Sindbad Voyage with his drum. In SAXON the Emperor's Elephant, Sigwulf falls in love with a slave girl – Zaynab – when she sings.
In SAXON: the emperor's elephant Sigwulf's vessel just manages to survive a great storm at sea. This photo from my Sindbad Voyage expedition sailing from Oman to China on a replica early medieval Arab sailing ship shows what the sails look like as they are being shredded by a gale. My crew and I learned that when cotton sails rip to pieces, they disintegrate before the pressure of the wind capsizes the vessel … a safety factor.
...and today marks the publication of Saxon: The Emperor's Elephant in hardback.
Another photo from my Sindbad Voyage expedition in 1980/81 that provided material for Sigwulf's adventures in SAXON the emperor's elephant. I am talking with Saleh Khamees, a retired sea captain from Sur in the Sultanate of Oman, about his lifetime of sailing the Arabian Sea. When I describe the captain of Sigwulf's vessel in SAXON The Emperor’s Elephant, I had Saleh Khamees in mind. .
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