4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Compelling portrait of a complex character,
This review is from: Fitzroy: The Remarkable Story of Darwin's Captain and the Invention of the Weather Forecast (Hardcover)
A nicely balanced, well researched account of the life of a brave and generous worker for the public good. The three phases of Fitzroy's professional life are all covered here: the accomplished sea captain, painstakingly charting the South American coast; the able Parliamentarian, and none-too-successful New Zealand Governor who tried to be fair to the Maoris; and his final contribution as founder of the Met Office, and instigator of a successful storm warning system. There is tragedy in his story. Fitzroy suffered from depression, finally taking his own life when all he had worked for and put his faith in seemed to be unravelling. He could see the painful ironythat Darwin's Bible-crunching publication "The Origin of Species" couldn't have been developed without the devout Fitzroy's own invitation to join him on the Beagle years before. Also driving him to his end was seeing his beloved weather forecasting system undermined by Government factions eager to save money rather than lives at sea. This noble public servant deserves to be remembered as more than merely "Darwin's Captain", and this book does much to restore his proper reputation.