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Biography

Tim Severin has sailed a leather boat across the Atlantic in the wake of St. Brendan the Navigator, captained an Arab sailing ship from Muscat to China to investigate the legends of Sindbad the Sailor, steered a replica of a Bronze Age galley to seek the landfalls of Jason and the Argonauts and of Ulysses, ridden the route of the first Crusader knights across Europe to Jerusalem, travelled on horse back with nomads of Mongolia in search of the heritage of Genghis Khan, sailed the Pacific on a bamboo raft to test the theory that ancient Chinese mariners could have reached to the Americas, retraced the journeys of Alfred Russell Wallace, Victorian pioneer naturalist, through the Spice Islands of Indonesia using a nineteenth century prahu, and traced the origins of Moby Dick, the great white whale among the aboriginal sea hunters of the Pacific.

One of his recent quests has been to identify the ‘real’ Robinson Crusoe whose true adventures marooned on a desert island in the Caribbean provided material for the fictional exploits of the world's most famous castaway.

He has written books about all these adventures, which have won him the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award, The Book Of The Sea Award, a Christopher Prize and the literary medal of the Academie de la Marine. He has been a regular contributor to the National Geographic Magazine.

He has also recorded his journeys in documentary films which have become classics of exploration and adventure. At film festivals they have won prizes for Best Cameraman, Best Film of the Sea and Best Adventure Film. Collected under the title TIME TRAVELLER, they have been screened on Discovery Channel, Sky Television, and National Geographic TV.

In January 2005 he published VIKING, Odinn’s Child, the first volume in his historical fiction trilogy (Macmillan). Odinn’s Child entered the best seller lists, and was followed by VIKING, Sworn Brother, and VIKING King’s Man. The trilogy has been translated into languages ranging from Portuguese to Korean. THE ADVENTURES OF HECTOR LYNCH, Corsair (2007) began his next series of historical novels. Followed by Buccaneer (2008) and Sea Robber (2009), the three books took their seventeenth century hero on action-packed voyages to the farthest shores of the then known world.

In 2012 he published SAXON, The Book of Dreams. Set in the late 800's, the tale opens in Anglo Saxon England and reaches its climax in the Spanish mountains at the desperate yet doomed battle that inspired the notion of noble chivalry. SAXON, The Emperor's Elephant (2013) traces the remarkable exchange of gifts, including exotic beasts, between Charlemagne and Harun al Rashid, the Caliph of Baghdad. Two more volumes are planned, bringing the empire of Charlemagne to vivid life.

Tim Severin holds the Gold Medal of the Royal Geographical Society and the Livingstone Medal of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society. He has been conferred with the degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, by Trinity College, Dublin, and by University College, Cork.

Tim Severin is available for lectures and has an archive of still photographs and documentary films covering his various voyages. Click here to enquire.