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The Voyage of the Beagle (Modern Library) [Paperback]

Charles Darwin , Steve Jones (Introduction)
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
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Book Description

19 April 2001 Modern Library
In 1831, Charles Darwin embarked on an expedition that, in his own words, determined my whole career. The Voyage of the Beagle chronicles his five-year journey around the world and especially the coastal waters of South America as a naturalist on the H.M.S. Beagle. While traveling through these unexplored countries collecting specimens, Darwin began to formulate the theories of evolution and natural selection realized in his master work, The Origin of Species. Travel memoir and scientific primer alike, The Voyage of the Beagle is a lively and accessible introduction to the mind of one of history's most influential thinkers. Since 1917 The Modern Library prides itself as The modern Library of the world s Best Books . Featuring introductions by leading writers, stunning translations, scholarly endnotes and reading group guides. Production values emphasize superior quality and readability. Competitive prices, coupled with exciting cover design make these an ideal gift to be cherished by the avid reader.


Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library Inc; New edition edition (19 April 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375756809
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375756801
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.4 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,142,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More 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.

Product Description

About the Author

CHARLES ROBERT DARWIN was born in 1809 in Shrewsbury, England, to a wealthy intellectual family, his grandfather being the famous physician Erasmus Darwin. At Cambridge University he formed a friendship with J. S. Henslow, a professor of botany, and that association, along with his enthusiasm for collecting beetles, led to a burning zeal, as he wrote in his Autobiography, for the natural sciences. When Henslow obtained for him the post of naturalist on H.M.S. Beagle, the course of his life was fixed. The five-year-long voyage to the Southern Hemisphere between 1831 and 1836 would lay the foundation for his ideas about evolution and natural selection. Upon his return Darwin lived in London before retiring to his residence at Down, a secluded village in Kent. For the next forty years he conducted his research there and wrote the works that would change human understanding forever. Knowing of the resistance from the orthodox scientific and religious communities, Darwin published The Origin of Species in 1859 only when another naturalist, Alfred Russel Wallace, independently reached the same conclusions. His other works include The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex (1871) and Recollections of My Mind and Character, also titled Autobiography (1887). Charles Darwin s Diary of the Voyage of the H.M.S. Beagle was published posthumously in 1933. Darwin died in 1882; he is buried in Westminster Abbey.Steve Jones is professor of genetics at University College, London. He is the author of Darwin's Ghost and The Language of Genes, among other books. He lives in London.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
After having been twice driven back by heavy southwestern gales, Her Majesty's ship Beagle, a ten-gun brig, under the command of Captain Fitz Roy, R. N., sailed from Devonport on the 27th of December, 1831. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
62 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for everyone! 4 Aug 2001
Format:Paperback
This is an account of Darwin's voyage in HMS Beagle as a guest of Captain Fitz Roy. Fitz Roy wanted a gentleman naturalist to accompany him on an admiralty survey of the coast of South America in 1831. Darwin, using superb descriptive narrative, describes the flora, fauna, native inhabitants and perhaps most interestingly the geology of the countries he visits and draws far reaching conclusions later to be published in "The Origin of Species". He is completely enamoured of the incredible diversity of the natural world and conveys this in a thoroughly readable way, drawing conclusions based on sound scientific reasoning. If you never read another scientific book then read this one. If you do read this then I defy you not to read "The Origin of Species".
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
By Dennis Littrell TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
One of the amazing things about the voyage of the Beagle is that Darwin survived it! On the voyage south along the eastern coast of South America and then later on the western coast he would frequently take to the land and meet the Beagle at its next port of call further south or north. He would travel the land hiring gauchos or other guides and horses and mules so that he could study the geology and the flora and fauna. The hardships and dangers he encountered and survived would in some ways put Indiana Jones to shame. In Patagonia amidst the constant gaucho and Indian wars, rife with wanton bloodshed and a kind of genocidal determinism, Darwin rode on horseback and slept on the ground and ate mostly animal flesh of all kinds, including mare's flesh. In Tierra del Fuego the cold and barren lands were enormously forbidding, the inhabitants savage and the dangers very real. One senses in the young Charles Darwin a determination to be the kind of naturalist who leaves no stone unturned, no ridge unclimbed and no species uncollected.

What most surprised me was how well and vibrantly he described the many people he met. Here he speaks of the governor of St. Fe: his "favourite occupation is hunting Indians: a short time since he slaughtered forty-eight, and sold the children at the rate of three or four pounds apiece" (from the entry of Oct 3 and 4, 1832). And here is his description of Queen Pomarre of Tahiti: "The queen is a large awkward woman, without any beauty, grace or dignity. She has only one royal attribute: a perfect immovability of expression under all circumstances" (entry of November 25, 1835).
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
By emio
Format:MP3 CD
a book of a trip, a journal of people and places (and animals and plants)

This book is great.

I bought this book because I remembered the old TV series of the eighties. I expected a book with the aventures of the journey, but it is much more. It is more than the obervations of zoology and geology, it is mainly about the people, about the cultures that Darwin finds in South America and how he, as a modern European perceived the new independent South-American and native indians, their culture, their customs. With great objectivity, more than what would have today an ordinary tourist, Darwin depicts the way people live, the political and social issues, their superstitions, their food, their missery. And little by little Darwin gives his personal thoughts on everything from social to science issues.

Darwin's writing is clear and modern, full of wisdom and very personal. This edition of the ModernLibrary is very nice, the text has a decent size, the paper is fine and the cover too. Enjoy.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Darwin voyage of the Beagle 9 Mar 2009
Format:Paperback
Interesting book but very annoying no maps not even one showing the route of the Beagle
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You can't tell me he wasn't having fun 27 Nov 2003
By bernie VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Remember this says "Journal" and that is what it is. It is his first parson adventures on and off the Beagle. He even includes stories about the people on the ship, the ship's life, and maintenance. He is always going ashore and venturing beyond the ship charter to go where no Englishman has gone before. He makes friends with tyrants and the down trodden. Once, to get an animal to come to him, he lay on his back and waved his arms and legs in the air. Whatever you do, do not turn your back on him. He is always knocking something on the head and taking it back for study. It is fun trying to match the old names for places with the new.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Darwin and the Beagle Journey! 1 Aug 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Charles Darwin's travels around the world as a 'gentleman' naturalist on HMS Beagle between 1831 and 1836 impressed upon him a sense of the natural world's beauty which he captures in a superlative descriptive narrative. He takes you on a journey along the coasts and interiors of South America and through the Pacific to the South Sea Islands. It displays Darwin's highly intuitive mind at work as he conceptualises the complex relations between our earth's life forms and its environment that leads him to his hypothesis of natural selection.

Whilst I enjoyed Darwin's descriptive narrative immensely I feel quite disappointed overall. I did not particularly like the journal layout of the book and the lack of detail about the actual sailing journey...though this was to be expected. In addition I read this as a layman naturalist and wish my entry level knowledge could have done the book better justice. Overall though a satisfying read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars lesson in biology and geography
I think this book must have been wonderful to read for people who have never seen anything outside their own world, before tv and documentaries were invented. Read more
Published 2 months ago by laros76
5.0 out of 5 stars very interesting
I have recently travelled to South America on a similar route to The Beagle so it was interesting to read about Darwins trip in his own word.
Published 3 months ago by dewdrop
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Reading.
I loved this book and Darwin's viewpoints on the different places he visited. I have read The Origin of Species (Wordsworth Classics of World Literature) previously and so had a... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Rachel
3.0 out of 5 stars voyage of the beagle
I was a little disappointed with this version it didn't live up to myexpectations i would have preferred some form of illustrations if possible
Published 11 months ago by antony brayshaw
5.0 out of 5 stars The Voyage of ideas
I recently wrote about having read "The Voyage of the Beagle", and "The Origin of Species" by Charles Darwin and asked questions originating from the latter. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Nobby
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for anyone who really wants to know about The Beagle
To discover where Darwin's genius really lay a reading of this book is essential. His powers of observation and perception were truly remarkable, as was his sense of wider... Read more
Published on 23 April 2012 by Mr. A. J. Downs
5.0 out of 5 stars What you hoped a Kindle would be like
This is a note about the Mobilereference edition of Darwin's Voyage of the Beagle. It goes without saying that the book itself is one of the greatest books of travel that you... Read more
Published on 25 Jan 2011 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars You can't tell me he wasn't having fun
Remember this says "Journal" and that is what it is. It is his first parson adventures on and off the Beagle. Read more
Published on 30 Mar 2010 by bernie
1.0 out of 5 stars Not really unabridged
This claims to be unabridged, but it isn't. There are lots of arbitrary cuts - often pages long - and the editing is badly done so the result often doesn't make much sense. Read more
Published on 6 Dec 2009 by D. Allen
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended
No biology recommended reading list would be complete without a bit of Charlie Dee. But instead of The Origin of Species, which lets face it is a daunting Victorian proposition... Read more
Published on 21 Jan 2009 by A. Patterson
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