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on 2 September 2015
Darwin writes beautifully, and this is the description of one of the world's greatest scientific expeditions. Unforgivably, this edition leaves out the footnote markers, and just shoves the footnote text into the body text wherever there was a page break in the original source. This means that one cannot be sure to what the author is referring, even when one realizes that one is even reading a footnote. I'd have been disappointed to have paid for this edition; better editions are freely available from Project Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/3704
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on 18 March 2013
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.

However, `the Voyage of the Beagle' is by far the more enjoyable and informative and contains many insights and readable prose. Something must have happened to Darwin after his wonderful five year journey around the world.

I have rarely read two so very different books inn style and attitude by the same author. Indeed, any examination of Darwin's portrait either in sketches, painting or photograph reveals a man not only profoundly ageing but acquiring an expression of increasing gloom. Of course, one might think, as I did, that this was the nature of Victorian Man, at least in terms of a man living in Victorian society.

That society would contrast sharply with the liberal ideas today but then I noticed that Darwin himself had commented on his glum expression saying that people might expect such a man to have few friends. Even his wife, from the few pictures available, appears to have prematurely aged.

Nevertheless, I was struck by the descent of this man into what appeared on view a somewhat morose looking figure. That Darwin's health declined is a well known fact and some suspect that his illness which continued for the rest of his life had origins in his emotional state of mind and therefore sychosomatic.

The Beagle followed a course of exploration which provided Darwin with an opportunity to explore and examine fauna and flora along much of the South American coastline including that of the nearby Falkland Islands and later, of course, his observations on the world famous ground-breaking observations in the Galapagos Islands, for example, two types of Galapagos Lizard; one terrestrial and the other aquatic. He writes:

"I threw one several times as far as I could, into a deep pool left by the retiring tide; but it invariably returned in a direct line to the spot where I stood."

The Beagle sailed farther on to Tahiti, New Zealand, Australia, and other islands including Saint Helena in the South Atlantic before, finally, arriving at Falmouth, England and a new beginning in scientific speculation.
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on 6 December 2016
It is supposed to be a classic, but I found it thoroughly boring - it is as well the Darwin was a scientist, he would never have made a living as a novelist. A friend who was a navigator found it fascinating for the navigational detail. I suppose that a biologist would fing that side of it interesting, but without a particular angle, I found it dry as dust. We were supposed to be reading as part of oiur boolclub, but I think that it would take me so long to read it that we would be on another book or two before I finished it.
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on 8 December 2013
This book revealed Darwin to be a fascinating person, who was himself intrigued by all he found on this lengthy voyage. He was evidently very fit and prepared to undergo some deprivations to explore many of the lands he visited. The way he records his thoughts and observations are quite readable and generally comprehensible to the layman; we learnt a lot and were also entertained. Incidentally, the book is about the places visited and almost nothing about the voyage itself.
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on 25 January 2011
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 could possibly read. The mobilereference edition of the book is just what I hoped books would be like on Kindle. There are books out there, as Kindle owners will know, that are badly formatted and almost impossible to find your way around. This is not one of them. Not only are you able to go directly to any chapter from the table of contents but there is also a fully useable index that allows you to look up references to people, places and other subject matter and go from that directly to the page concerned. If I had a quibble it would be that the illustrations do not seem to be indexed but that is a small matter and I would recommend this edition wholeheartedly.
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on 20 August 2015
A fascinating account, deliberately edited by the writer, to be understood by "non-scholars". I have a laymans interest in science and the natural world and thoroughly enjoyed reading this book which takes the reader around the world and not just to the Galapagos Islands.
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on 3 August 2014
Really informative description by Darwin of his voyage and his growing fascination with evolution. Better than Origin Of Species which is dry and really an academic tome. Be able can be read by the lay person with ease and enjoyment once you get used to the older style of Darwin's writing. Excellent free book.....don't worry about the odd typo and odd addition into text of references......it's FREE...enjoy and be grateful to those who bring this wonderful book to you.
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on 8 October 2013
I was not expecting this book of Darwin's to be so riveting a read! At points it is positively exciting !! His description of the aftermath of what was clearly a Tsunami following on from an earthquake is delicious to read in the context of what we now know of the phenomena. The young Darwin shows a keen interest not only in natural history and geology but also in the life of the indigenous populations of S. America and seems surprisingly 'modern' in most of his comments. Just a jolly good read as well as a look at the early thinking of the man who was to reshape our world view. If you're an intellectually curious person, willing to venture far afield in your reading, this is a must for you.
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on 16 May 2014
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. Maybe because I already saw the documentaries on tv, it didn't appeal that much anymore to me. It is though worth reading, but sometimes when describing the plants and the birds it gets a bit boring
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on 23 April 2012
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 significance. Although the account is necessarily episodic, he writes well and in terms that need not fox non-scientists. Sidelong references to his captain Robert Fitzroy - no mean scientist himself and the father of modern weather-forcasting - are also intriguing.
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