The Voyage of HMS Beagle
Filled with extraordinary observations, and occasionally hair-raising anecdotes, this is the most endearing of all Darwin’s books.
On 27 December 1831, the 22-year-old Charles Darwin joined HMS Beagle as an unpaid naturalist on its circumnavigation of the world. With its status as a pioneering work of scientific and natural discovery remaining undisputed, The Voyage of HMS Beagle also still stands the test of time as a truly enthralling travelogue.
For the young Cambridge graduate, who had abandoned his medical studies and was about to take holy orders, it was the opportunity of a lifetime. While the Beagle made its progress around the South American coast, Darwin was afforded the unique chance to collect and study a vast array of flora and fauna. His most significant discoveries were made on the Galapagos Islands, where he saw for himself hundreds of species of animals and birds unique to the archipelago. His journal, however, is not simply a record of his meticulously conducted investigations; it is a vividly written account of a great adventure. When not suffering from seasickness (‘no trifling evil’), Darwin witnessed civil war in Argentina, devastating earthquakes and volcanic eruptions in Chile, and the worst excesses of the slave trade. By the time he returned after five years at sea he had acquired a wealth of scientific knowledge, which inspired a lifelong career and led some 23 years later to the publication of On the Origin of Species.
The conclusions he drew changed forever our view of the world and our place within it. Throughout his life, Darwin retained a special affection for The Voyage of HMS Beagle – its success, he admitted, ‘always tickles my fancy’ –and rightly so, for it is the freshest, most lively and endearing of all his books.
This companion volume to the Folio Society’s bestselling edition of On the Origin of Species (both with both binding designs by David Eccles) is introduced by Charles Darwin’s great-grandson, the eminent physiologist Richard Keynes. It contains 62 carefully researched colour and black and white images of the flora, fauna, people and species encountered and chronicled by Darwin on his epic voyage of exploration.
Published in series with On the Origin of Species
Bound in buckram, blocked with a design by David Eccles
Set in Monotype Baskerville
Frontispiece and 24 pages of colour plates
12 pages of mono plates with 14 black & white integrated illustrations
Printed map endpapers
Coloured page tops
10˝ x 6¾˝