The Voyage of the Beagle: Journal of Researches into the Natural History and Geology of the Countries Visited During the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle Round the World (Modern Library Classics)
In 1831, Charles Darwin embarked on an expedition that, in his own words, determined my whole career. The Voyage of the Beagle chronicles his five-year journey around the world and especially the coastal waters of South America as a naturalist on the H.M.S. Beagle. While traveling through these unexplored countries collecting specimens, Darwin began to formulate the theories of evolution and natural selection realized in his master work, The Origin of Species. Travel memoir and scientific primer alike, The Voyage of the Beagle is a lively and accessible introduction to the mind of one of history's most influential thinkers.
Charles Darwin as Indiana Jones
By Vincent Poirier - September 27, 2004
We all know Charles Darwin as a scholarly bearded old English gentleman, and like Leonardo da Vinci, Darwin has this image defining him for all future generations. Even though most everyone knows Darwin spent five years traveling the oceans on the HMS Beagle, the image of a young dynamic Darwin never takes over. Reading this book will change this.
Darwin sailed on the Beagle, a small three-mast sailing ship, and circumnavigated the globe. Over five years, he visited numerous islands in the Atlantic and Pacific and extensively surveyed the east and west coasts of South America. He hiked up and down mountains, traveled on horseback across the arid Argentinean plains, crossed the lonely Peruvian desert, and trekked the grandiose Chilean Cordilleras. He thought nothing of packing a train of mules for a two-month overland journey across the Andes going from Chile to Argentina and back again. On all his land expeditions he hired local guides, from Gauchos in Argentina to South... read more
Charles Darwin-Naturalist, Poet, Adventurer
By Daniel Myers - November 8, 2006
I learned a lot about Darwin in this book that I simply didn't know beforehand. The most important is what an exceptional writer he was. If he had never published his Origin of Species and become famous by it, this book would still be a classic, if not of science, than certainly of literature. His prose, while necessarily more pedestrian, reminds me more than anything of the prose of another famous naturalist, Thoreau (who actually quotes the "Naturalist Darwin" in Walden from this book regarding the natives of Tierra Del Fuego).
The "scientific detail" cited by another reviewer did not bog down the prose at all, a remarkable feat....a talent also found in Thoreau. The famed passage on The Galapagos was indeed interesting. But the most scientifically intriguing passages, I found, had to do with barrier reefs and atolls and how they come to be...I almost said "evolve"....But perhaps that would be premature for this book. In any event, I've never read a scientific... read more
A sentimental scientists
By JK "JK" - May 9, 2007
The Voyage of the Beagle is filled with exquisite detail about the plants, insects, animals, and people that Darwin encountered during his journey. I was amazed at how much he had observed and compared/contrasted. My favorite parts, however, were for the most part not these descriptions. I most enjoyed the comments Darwin made that showed how he felt and what personal obstacles he encountered. Despite having the purpose of sharing his observations (which it most successful accomplishes), The Voyage showed a more personal side of Darwin. The personal comments that Darwin included and the poetic imagery he so often used gave the impression that Darwin had a sentimental side beyond the pure scientist. Even the depth of the many observations demonstrated his child-like curiosity and excitement about science, nature, and seeing the world.
If you were looking for a fast-paced plot, this is not your book. If you were looking for wonderful descriptions made by a keen... read more