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This review is from: The Voyage of the Beagle: Darwin's Extraordinary Adventure in Fitzroy's Famous Survey Ship (Hardcover)This book deals with the second of three voyages of the survey ship H.M.S. Beagle(1831-6) It does not concentrate on Charles Darwin,a supernummery,but with the ship,Captain FitzRoy,officers and crew,artists Earle and Martens and surveying at sea.
The book is well written and researched (with one exception-see later)but is made up with a considerable number of quotations from letters ,notes and official records.
The success of the voyage was due to the brilliant seamanship of the captain without which Darwins work would never have seen the light of day.
It is unfortunate that FitzRoy suffered from depression which eventually lead to his suicide.
It is a pity the two artists were on board for only short periods but the artwork of theirs which still exists is excellent.
The funal account of the voyage was published in 4 volumes-voludes 1&2 were written by the captain ,volume 3 by Darwin while volumme 4 is an appendix these volumes became known collectively as the "Narative".
On pages 38 and 174 the author claims that Alfed Wallace developed ideas later cthan Darwin,this is debateable as it is not finally determined how much Darwin plagerized Wallaces work.
There are minor annoyances about this book a)the silly dust cover that only covers a quarter of the book ,b)black type on green pages does not lead to easy reading and c)the microscopic type of the index requires a magnifying glass.