Inviting in its lavish detail, this is Darwin's fascinating account of his five-year journey aboard the Royal Navy ship HMS Beagle (1831-1836) as it surveyed the coasts of South America, New Zealand, Australia, and the now famous Galapagos Archipelago. One of the most important voyages of the 19th century, this is where Darwin made the observations that led to his theory of evolution by means of natural selection, which emerged two decades later. The Voyage of the Beagle (1840-43) has delighted and enlightened millions because of Darwin's loving and insightful observations of the plants, animals, people, and locations he explored. These journals provide striking examples of the great scientist's reasoning ability and intriguing glimpses into his thought processes. They are the precursor to The Descent of Man (1871, 1874), a controversial leap in evolutionary theory from nature to humanity.--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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.