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Home > Catalog > Charles Darwin: The Beagle Letters
Charles Darwin: The <I>Beagle</I> Letters


  • 30 b/w illus. 12 colour illus.
  • Page extent: 544 pages
  • Size: 247 x 174 mm
  • Weight: 1.27 kg
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 (ISBN-13: 9780521898386)

  • Published October 2008

In stock

$19.95 (G)

Charles Darwin’s voyage on the HMS Beagle is a gripping adventure story, and a turning point in the making of the modern world. Brought together here in chronological order, the letters he wrote and received during his trip provide a first-hand account of a voyage of discovery that was as much personal as intellectual. We follow Darwin’s adventures as he prepares for his travels, lands on his first tropical island, watches an earthquake level a city, and learns how to catch ostriches from a running horse. We witness slavery, political revolution, and epidemic disease, and share the otherworldly experience of landing on the Galapagos Islands and collecting specimens. His letters are counterpoised by replies from family and friends that record a comfortable, intimate world back in England. Original watercolors by the ship’s artist Conrad Martens vividly bring to life Darwin’s descriptions of his travels.


Introduction Janet Browne; About this book; Acknowledgements; Symbols and abbreviations; Timeline of the journey; THE BEAGLE LETTERS; Further reading; Letter locations; Notes on the illustrations; Brief biographies and index to correspondents; Bibliography; Index.


"It's a pleasure to have the correspondence from this critical period in an accessible volume. It is fascinating to watch Darwin attempt to come to grips with the huge amount of data he collected and make sense of the patterns he observed. We get an intimate look at an adventurous young Darwin, so unlike his more familiar, sedentary older self who would write On the Origin of Species. The late Burkhardt, who founded the Darwin Correspondence Project, has filled in details and context as needed, and the introduction by Darwin biographer Browne is a joy to read."
Publisher's Weekly

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