FitzRoy: The Remarkable Story of Darwin's Captain and the Invention of the Weather Forecast

FitzRoy: The Remarkable Story of Darwin's Captain and the Invention of the Weather Forecast

by John Gribbin, Mary Gribbin
     
 

The name of Robert FitzRoy, captain of the Beagle, is forever linked with that of his most famous passenger, Charles Darwin. This exceptionally interesting biography brings FitzRoy out of Darwin’s shadow for the first time, revealing a man who experienced high adventure, suffered tragic disappointments, and—as the inventor of weather

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Overview

The name of Robert FitzRoy, captain of the Beagle, is forever linked with that of his most famous passenger, Charles Darwin. This exceptionally interesting biography brings FitzRoy out of Darwin’s shadow for the first time, revealing a man who experienced high adventure, suffered tragic disappointments, and—as the inventor of weather forecasting—saved the lives of countless fellow mariners.
John Gribbin and Mary Gribbin draw a detailed portrait of FitzRoy, recounting the wide range of his accomplishments and exploring the motivations that drove him. As a very young and successful commander in the British navy, FitzRoy’s life was in the mold of a Patrick O’Brian novel. Later disappointments, including an unpopular tenure as governor of New Zealand and a sense of dismay over his own contributions to Darwin’s ideas of evolution, troubled FitzRoy. Even his groundbreaking accomplishments in meteorological science failed to satisfy his high personal expectations, and in 1865 FitzRoy committed suicide at the age of sixty. This biography focuses well-deserved attention on FitzRoy’s status as a scientist and seaman, affirming that his was a life which, despite its sorrowful end, encompassed many more successes than failures.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300103618
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
07/26/2004
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.16(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsxi
A Very British Hero3
1Before the Beagle7
2First Command43
3Interlude in England77
4FitzRoy's Passenger89
5The Darwin Voyage123
6The Happy Return177
7Difficulties Down Under199
8Unrequited Hopes237
9Prophet without Honor249
10Aftermath285
Appendix ILoose Ends295
Appendix IIFitzRoy's C.V.301
Appendix IIIVice Admiral FitzRoy307
Sources and Further Reading311
Endnotes315
Index329

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