This is the first full edition of the notebooks used by Darwin during his epic voyage in the Beagle. It contains transcriptions of all fifteen notebooks, which now survive as some of the most precious documents in the history of science. The notebooks record the entire range of Darwin's interests and activities during the Beagle journey, with observations on geology, zoology, botany, ecology, barometer and thermometer readings, ethnography, anthropology, archaeology and linguistics, along with maps, drawings, financial records, shopping lists, reading notes, essays and personal diary entries. Some of Darwin's critical discoveries and experiences, made famous through his own publications, are recorded in their most immediate form in the notebooks, and published here for the first time. The notebook texts are accompanied by full editorial apparatus and introductions explaining Darwin's actions at each stage, focussing on discoveries that were pivotal to convincing him that life on Earth had evolved.
John van Wyhe is a historian of science and one of the world's leading experts on Darwin, Wallace and the history of evolutionary theory.
He is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Biological Sciences, Department of History and a Fellow of Tembusu College at the National University of Singapore. He is the founder and Director of both Darwin Online and Wallace Online. He lectures and broadcasts around the world.
His research has resolved some of the most intractable mysteries and debunked some of the most long-standing myths in the field such as Darwin's delay, when Darwin received Wallace's evolution essay, whether Darwin was the naturalist or companion on HMS Beagle, where the legend of Darwin's finches comes from, whether Darwin lost his faith when his daughter Annie died and the legendary version of the life of A.R. Wallace as told by amateurs for the past decades.
His book Dispelling the Darkness, completely overturns the traditional story of Darwin, Wallace and how the theory of evolution by natural selection was conceived and made known to the world based on the most in-depth research programme ever undertaken on Wallace's voyage including editing Wallace Online, Wallace's voyage letters and notebooks to modern scholarly standards. As Janet Browne has written "The story of Wallace will never be the same again."