When the Beagle sailed out of Devonport on 27 December 1831, Charles Darwin was twenty-two and setting off on the voyage of a lifetime. Hi journal shows a naturalist making patient observations concerning geology and natural history, as well as people, places and events. Volcanoes in the Galapagos, the Gossamer spider of Patagonia, the Australasian coral reefs and the brilliance of the firefly all are to be found in these extraordinary writings. The insights made on the five-year voyage were to set in motion the intellectual currents that led to the most controversial book of the Victorian age: The Origin of Species.
This volume reprints Charles Darwin's journal in a shortened form. It contains an introduction on the background to Darwin's work, as well as notes, maps, appendices and an essay on scientific geology and the Bible by Robert FitzRoy, Darwin's friend and captain of the Beagle.
About The Author
Charles Darwin was born in Shrewsbury in 1809 and was educated at Shrewsbury School, Edinburgh University and Christ’s College Cambridge. He took his degree in 1831 and in the same year embarked on a five-year voyage on HMS Beagle as a companion to the captain; the purpose of the voyage was to chart the coasts of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, and to carry a chain of chronometric readings round the world.
While he was away some of his letters on scientific matters were privately published, and on his return he at once took his place among the leading men of science. In 1839 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. Most of the rest of his life was occupied in publishing the findings of the voyage and in documenting his theory of the transmutation of species. On the origin of species by means of natural selection appeared in 1859.
Darwin spent many years with his wife – his cousin Emma Wedgwood, whom he had married in 1839 – and their children at Down House in Kent. He died in 1882, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.
'Classic' is almost too trite a word for this wonderful story in Darwin's own words of his famous career-setting journey of a lifetime. Darwin was 22 years old in 1831 when he accmpanied Captain Robert FitzRoy on a mapping-collecting trip to South America. Darwin returned five years later, having marvelled at the wonders of the natural world and taken copious notes about it which led to books and papers and scientific celebrity. It would be several more decades (1859) before Darwin published the famous theory of natural selection to explain evolution but the seeds were all here in this trip - the finches of the Galapagos, the arguments with Captain FitzRoy, the first glimpse of the astonishing diversity of the tropical rain forest, the geological wonders that spoke to Darwin about the Earth's changes. It is highly readable, a book to give any modern adventurer a hint of the thrill of discovery, a book to dip into and to come back to time and again. (Kirkus UK)