Voyage of the Beagle

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Overview

"I hate every wave of the ocean," the seasick Charles Darwin wrote to his family during his five-year voyage on the H.M.S. Beagle. It was this world-wide journey, however, that launched the scientist’s career.

The Voyage of the Beagle is Darwin's fascinating account of his trip - of his biological and geological observations and collection activities, of his speculations about the causes and theories behind scientific phenomena, of his ...
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Overview

"I hate every wave of the ocean," the seasick Charles Darwin wrote to his family during his five-year voyage on the H.M.S. Beagle. It was this world-wide journey, however, that launched the scientist’s career.

The Voyage of the Beagle is Darwin's fascinating account of his trip - of his biological and geological observations and collection activities, of his speculations about the causes and theories behind scientific phenomena, of his interactions with various native peoples, of his beautiful descriptions of the lands he visited, and of his amazing discoveries in the Galapagos archipelago. Although scientific in nature, the literary quality rivals those of John Muir and Henry Thoreau.

About the Author:
Charles Darwin is the author of one of the most controversial and influential works in Western thought, The Origin of the Species (1859). At age twenty-two, Darwin, who had dropped out of medical school in Edinburgh, became the gentleman companion (and only secondarily, naturalist) to the moody, irascible Captain Robert FitzRoy. Although his father had wanted him to become a pastor, Darwin’s journey on the H.M.S. Beagle led to him instead becoming the forerunner of evolutionary theory.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This precursor to On the Origin of Species is a fascinating work on its own merits. Originally published in 1839 and alternately known as Journal and Remarks and Journal of Researches, it documents Darwin's second survey expedition aboard the H.M.S. Beagle and provides a more personal view of Darwin than do his later works. The selections chosen for this abridgment by Isabel Morgan—with Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion), who also narrates—relate more to people and cultures than to species, which will surprise many listeners. Dawkins reads in a manner pleasing to the ear and suitable to the subject matter. Coming on the heels of the 2009 bicentennial celebration of Darwin's birth (see "Charles Darwin at 200," LJ 12/08), this title is highly recommended for those libraries not already owning a copy. [An alternate, unabridged recording, read by David Case, is available from Tantor Audio.—Ed.]—Gloria Maxwell, Metropolitan Community Coll.-Penn Valley Lib., Kansas City, MO
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780486424897
  • Publisher: Dover Publications
  • Publication date: 11/30/2011
  • Series: Dover Value Editions Series
  • Pages: 528
  • Sales rank: 826,175
  • Product dimensions: 5.66 (w) x 8.02 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin, a British naturalist, geologist, biologist, and author, revolutionized the science of biology by developing the theory of evolution by natural selection.

A highly respected and enthusiastic audiobook narrator, David Case specialized in creating unique and interesting character voices.

Biography

Robert Charles Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, England, on February 12, 1809, into a wealthy and highly respected family. His grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, was a doctor and the author of many works, including his well-known Zoonomia, or the Laws of Organic Life, which suggested a theory of evolution. Charles's father, Robert Waring Darwin, was also a prosperous doctor; his mother, Susannah, was the daughter of Josiah Wedgwood, founder of the renowned Wedgwood potteries. The Darwins and the Wedgwoods had close and long-standing relations, and Charles was to marry his cousin, Emma Wedgwood.

In 1825 at age sixteen, Darwin matriculated at Edinburgh University to study medicine. There, his early interest in natural history developed, and he studied particularly crustaceans, sea creatures, and beetles. Nauseated by the sight of blood, however, he decided that medicine was not his vocation, left Edinburgh in 1827 and entered Christ's College, Cambridge University, with no clear sense of possible vocation, theology itself being an option. At Cambridge he became friends with J. S. Henslow, a clergyman who was also professor of botany. Although Darwin was to graduate from Cambridge with a B.A. in theology, he spent much time with Henslow, developing his interest in natural science. It was Henslow who secured a position for Darwin on an exploratory expedition aboard the HMS Beagle.

In December 1831, the year he graduated from Cambridge, Darwin embarked upon a five-year voyage to Africa and South America, acting as a companion to the captain, Robert Fitzroy. Darwin spent more time in land expeditions than at sea, where he was always seasick, but during the long voyages he continued his collecting and, cramped in his tiny cabin, meticulously wrote up his ideas. Several years after his return, at the time of the birth of his first son, William, Darwin fell ill. It is conjectured that while in South America he had contracted Chagas's disease, but whatever the cause, the effects were debilitating for the rest of Darwin's life.

By the time he returned to London in 1835, many of his letters, some to scientists like Charles Lyell and Adam Sedgwick, had been read before scientific societies, and he was already a well known and respected naturalist. His first published book, an account of his voyage aboard the Beagle, entitled Journal of Researches, appeared in 1839 and was widely popular. He married the same year; soon after, the family moved from London to a secluded house at Down, in Kent, where Darwin wrote initial sketches of his theory and then preparing himself for the full exposition, spent eight years writing a detailed set of definitive monographs on barnacles.

In 1858, when Darwin was halfway through writing his book, "Natural Selection," A. R. Wallace sent him a paper called, "On the Tendency of Varieties to Depart Indefinitely from the Original Type." In language similar to Darwin's own, Wallace laid out the argument for natural selection. Wallace asked Darwin to help get the paper published -- obviously an alarming development for a man who had given twenty years of his life to getting the argument for natural selection right. Darwin's scientific friends advised him to gather materials giving evidence of his priority but to have the Wallace paper read before the Linnaean Society, along with a brief account of his own ideas. Immediately after the reading, Darwin began work on his "abstract" of "Natural Selection." The result was On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, published in 1859. Despite the controversy it generated, it was an immense success and went through five more editions in Darwin's lifetime.

Darwin devoted the rest of his life to researching and writing scientific treatises, drawing on his notebooks and corresponding with scientists all over the world, and thus developing and modifying parts of his larger argument.

Darwin never traveled again and much of his scientific work was done in his own garden and study at home. Others, particularly his "bulldog," T. H. Huxley, fought the battle for evolution publicly, and as Darwin remained quietly ailing at home, his family grew -- he had ten children -- and so did his reputation. Although he was always ill with symptoms that made it impossible for him to work full days, he produced an enormous volume of work. His death, on April 19, 1882, was a national event. Despite the piety of his wife, Emma, Darwin had fallen away from religion as he reflected both on the way nature worked and on the way his favorite daughter, Annie, died painfully from an unknown feverish illness, when she was ten. Nevertheless, ironically, he was buried in Westminster Abbey.

Author biography from the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of The Origin of Species.

Good To Know

Darwin was born on the same day as U.S. president Abraham Lincoln.

He broke his longtime snuff habit by keeping his snuff box in the basement and the key to it in the attic.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      February 12, 1809
    2. Place of Birth:
      Shrewsbury, England
    1. Date of Death:
      April 19, 1882
    2. Place of Death:
      London, England
    1. Education:
      B.A. in Theology, Christ’s College, Cambridge University, 1831

Read an Excerpt

Charles Darwin, at age 22, had by 1831 rejected careers in both medicine and the clergy when he was offered the position of naturalist aboard the HMS Beagle, a 90-foot sloop charged with charting South American waters. He was not the first choice for the job. His father stood in his way. Even the ship's captain was uncertain about him. Yet he made it onto the Beagle, and this five year voyage, he later wrote, was the most important event of his life and shaped his entire career.

This was a return trip to South America for the Beagle and Darwin left the placid landscape of England to journey to a land of dynamic terrain: high mountains, earthquakes, volcanoes, strange coastlines and even stranger animals and fossils:

"Everything in this southern continent has been effected on a grand scale: the land, from the Rio Plata to Tierra del Fuego, a distance of 1,200 miles, has been raised in mass...What a history of geological changes does the simply-constructed coast of Patagonia reveal!...At Port St. Julian , in some red mud capping the gravel on the 90-feet plain, I found half the skeleton of the Macrauchenia Patachonica, a remarkable quadruped, full as large as a camel. It belongs to the same division of the Pachydermata with the rhinoceros, tapir, and palaeotherium; but in the structure of the bones of its long neck it shows a clear relation to the camel, or rather to the guanaco and llama. From recent sea-shells being found on two of the higher step-formed plains, which must have been modelled and upraised before the mud was deposited in which the Macrauchenia was entombed, it is certain that this curious quadruped lived long after the sea was inhabited by its present shells."

Darwin spent thousands of hours making observations, collecting specimens, and recording data. He went ashore all along the South American coasts, often riding horseback into the interior in order to collect more data, and he also includes his observations about the people whom he met there, from army generals to local Indians. And of course, he visited the now famous Galapagos Archipelago, the 10 islands formed by volcanic action where Darwin noticed that several species of finches existed, with beak shapes that were vastly different. He thought deeply about the comment made by the vice-governor that there were many different varieties of tortoises to be found on the island, and came to the conclusions about evolution he later elaborated upon in his Origin of Species:

"It was most striking to be surrounded by new birds, new reptiles, new shells, new insects, new plants, and yet by innumerable trifling details of structure, and even by the tones of voice and plumage of the birds, to have the temperate plains of Patagonia, or rather the hot dry deserts of Northern Chile, vividly brought before my eyes. Why, on these small points of land, which within a late geological period must have been covered by the ocean, which are formed by basaltic lava, and therefore differ in geological character from the American continent, and which are placed under a peculiar climate, - why were their aboriginal inhabitants, associated, I may add, in different proportions both in kind and number from those on the continent, and therefore acting on each other in a different manner - why were they created on American types of organization?"

The Beagle went back to England via Australia and New Zealand, and Darwin continued to collect specimens there as well. He left England as student with a keen and open mind; he returned an experienced scientist with definite ideas about the workings of nature, and raw data to substantiate his theories. He would go on of course to refine them and publish On the Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection, that famous and still controversial book. The direction of Darwin's thought is clearly evident in The Voyage of the HMS Beagle, as well as his exuberance. This is the second edition of the book, originally published in 1845. Fascinating reading from a truly original mind!

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Table of Contents


CHAPTER I
 Porto Praya
 Ribeira Grande
 Atmospheric Dust with Infusoria
 Habits of a Sea-slug and Cuttle-fish
 "St. Paul's Rocks, non-volcanic"
 Singular Incrustations
 Insects the first Colonists of Islands
 Fernando Noronha
 Bahia
 Burnished Rocks
 Habits of a Diodon
 Pelagic Confervæ and Infusoria
 Causes of discoloured Sea
CHAPTER II
 Rio de Janeiro
 Excursion north of Cape Frio
 Great Evaporation
 Slavery
 Botofogo Bay
 Terrestrial Planariæ
 Clouds on the Corcovado
 Heavy Rain
 Musical Frogs
 Phosphorescent Insects
 "Elater, springing powers of"
 Blue Haze
 Noise made by a Butterfly
 Entomology
 Ants
 Wasp killing a Spider
 Parasitical Spider
 Artifices of an Epeira
 Gregarious Spider
 Spider with an unsymmetrical Web
CHAPTER III
 Monte Video
 Maldonado
 Excursion to R. Polanco
 Lazo and Bolas
 Partridges
 Absence of Trees
 Deer
 "Capybara, or River Hog"
 Tucutuco
 "Molothrus, cuckoo-like habits"
 Tyrant-flycatcher
 Mocking-bird
 Carrion Hawks
 Tubes formed by Lightning
 House struck
CHAPTER IV
 Rio Negro
 Estancias attacked by the Indians
 Salt Lakes
 Flamingoes
 R. Negro to R. Colorado
 Sacred Tree
 Patagoniac Hare
 Indian Families
 General Rosas
 Proceed to Bahia Blanca
 Sand Dunes
 Negro Lieutenant
 Bahia Blanca
 Saline Incrustations
 Punta Alta
 Zorillo
CHAPTER V
 Bahia Blanca
 Geology
 Numerous gigantic extinct Quadrupeds
 Recent Extinction
 Longevity of Species
 Large Animals do not require a luxuriant vegetation
 Southern Africa
 Siberian Fossils
 Two Species of Ostrich
 Habits of Oven-bird
 Armadilloes
 "Venomous Snake, Toad, Lizard"
 Hybernation of Animals
 Habits of Sea-Pen
 Indian Wars and Massacres
 "Arrow head, antiquarian Relic"
CHAPTER VI
 Set out for Buenos Ayres
 Rio Sauce
 Sierra Ventana
 Third Posa
 Driving Horses
 Bolas
 Partridges and Foxes
 Features of the Century
 Long-legged Plover
 Teru-tero
 Hail-storm
 Natural Enclosures in the Sierra Tapalguen
 Flesh of Puma
 Meat Diet
 Guardia del Monte
 Effects of Cattle on the Vegetation
 Cardoon
 Buenos Ayres
 Corral where Cattle are slaughtered
CHAPTER VII
 Excursion to St. Fé
 Thistle-Beds
 Habits of the Bizcacha
 Little Owl
 Saline Streams
 Level Plains
 Mastadon
 St. Fé
 Change in Landscape
 Geology
 Tooth of extinct Horse
 Relation of the Fossil and Recent Quadrupeds of North and South America
 Effects of a great Drought
 Parana
 Habits of the Jaguar
 Scissor-beak
 "Kingfisher, Parrot, and Scissor-tail"
 Revolution
 Buenos Ayres
 State of Government
CHAPTER VIII
 Excursion to Colonia del Sacramiento
 Value of an Estancia
 "Cattle, how counted"
 Singular Breed of Oxen
 Preforated Pebbles
 Shepherd Dogs
 "Horses broken-in, Gauchos riding"
 Character of Inhabitants
 Rio Plata
 Flocks of Butterflies
 Aeronaut Spiders
 Phosphorescence of the Sea
 Port Desire
 Guanaco
 Port St. Julian
 Geology of Patagonia
 Fossil gigantic Animal
 Types of Organization constant
 Change in the Zoology of America
 Causes of Extinction
CHAPTER IX
 Santa Cruz
 Expedition up the River
 Indians
 Immense Streams of Basaltic Lava
 Fragments not transported by the River
 Excavation of the Valley
 "Condor, habits of"
 Cordillera
 Erratic Boulders of great size
 Indian Relics
 Return to the Ship
 Falkland Islands
 "Wild Horses, Cattle, Rabbits"
 Wolf-like Fox
 Fire made of Bones
 Manner of hunting Wild Cattle
 Geology
 Streams of Stones
 Scenes of Violence
 Penguin
 Geese
 Eggs of Doris
 Compound Animals
CHAPTER X
 "Tierra del Fuego, first arrival"
 Good Success Bay
 An Account of the Fuegians on board
 Interview with the Savages
 Scenery of the Forests
 Cape Horn
 Wigwam Cove
 Miserable Condition of the Savages
 Famines
 Cannibals
 Matricide
 Religious Feelings
 Great Gale
 Beagle Channel
 Ponsonby Sound
 Build Wigwams and settle the Fuegians
 Bifurcation of the Beagle Channel
 Glaciers
 Return to the Ship
 Second Visit in the Ship to the Settlement
 Equality of Condition amongst the Natives
CHAPTER XI
 Strait of Magellan
 Port Famine
 Ascent of Mount Tarn
 Forests
 Edible Fungus
 Zoology
 Great Sea-weed
 Leave Tierra del Fuego
 Climate
 Fruit-trees and Productions of the Southern Coasts
 Height of Snow-line on the Cordillera
 Descent of Glaciers to the Sea
 Icebergs formed
 Transportal of Boulders
 Climate and Productions of the Antarctic Islands
 Preservation of Frozen Carcasses
 Recapitulation
CHAPTER XII
 Valparaiso
 Excursion to the Foot of the Andes
 Structure of the Land
 Ascend the Bell of Quillota
 Shattered Masses of Greenstone
 Immense Valleys
 Mines
 State of Miners
 Santiago
 Hot-baths of Cauquenes
 Gold-mines
 Grinding-Mills
 Perforated Stones
 Habits of the Puma
 El Turco and Tapacolo
 Humming-birds
CHAPTER XIII
 Chiloe
 General Aspect
 Boat Excursion
 Native Indians
 Castro
 Tame Fox
 Ascend San Pedro
 Chonos Archipelago
 Peninsul of Tres Montes
 Granitic Range
 Boat-wrecked Sailors
 Low's Harbour
 Wild Potato
 Formation of Peat
 "Myopotamus, Otter and Mice"
 Cheucau and Barking-bird
 Opetiorhynchus
 Singular Character of Ornithology
 Petrels
CHAPTER XIV
 "San Carlos, Chiloe"
 "Osorno in Eruption, contemporaneously with Aconcagua and Coseguina"
 Ride to Cucao
 Impenetrable Forests
 Valdivia
 Indians
 Earthquake
 Concepcion
 Great Earthquake
 Rocks fissured
 Appearance of the former Towns
 The Sea Black and Boiling
 Direction of the Vibrations
 Stones twisted round
 Great Wave
 Permanent Elevation of the Land
 Area of Volcanic Phenomena
 The connection between the Elevatory and Eruptive Forces
 Causes of Earthquakes
 Slow Elevation of Mountain-chains
CHAPTER XV
 Valparaiso
 Portillo Pass
 Sagacity of Mules
 Mountain-torrents
 "Mines, how discovered"
 Proofs of the gradual Elevation of the Cordillera
 Effect of Snow on Rocks
 Geological Structure of the two main Ranges
 Their distinct Origin and Upheaval
 Great subsidence
 Red Snow
 Winds Hydrophobia
 The Despoblado
 Indian Ruins
 Probable change of Climate
 River-bed arched by an Earthquake
 Cold Gales of Wind
 Noises from a Hill
 Iquique
 Salt Alluvium
 Nitrate of Soda
 Lima
 Unhealthy Country
 "Ruins of Callao, overthrown by an Earthquake"
 Recent subsidence
 "Elevated Shells on San Lorenzo, their decomposition "
 Plain with embedded Shells and fragments of Pottery
 Antiquity of the Indian Race
CHAPTER XVII
 Galapago Archipelago
 The whole Group Volcanic
 Number of Craters
 Leafless Bushes
 Colony at Charles Island
 James Island
 Salt-lake in Crater
 Natural History of the Group
 "Ornithology, curious Finches"
 Reptiles
 "Great Tortoises, habits of"
 "Marine Lizard, feeds on Sea-weed"
 "Terrestrial Lizard, burrowing habits, herbivorous"
 Importance of Reptiles in the Archipelago
 "Fish, Shells, Insects"
 Botany
 American Type of Organization
 Differences in the Species or Races on different Islands
 Tameness of the Birds
 "Fear of Man, an acquired Instinct"
CHAPTER XVIII
 Pass through the Low Archipelago
 Tahiti
 Aspect
 Vegetation on the Mountains
 View of Eimeo
 Excursion into the Interior
 Profound Ravines
 Succession of Waterfalls
 Number of wild useful Plants
 Temperance of the Inhabitants
 Their moral state
 Parliament convened
 New Zealand
 Bay of Islands
 Hippahs
 Excursion to Waimate
 Missionary Establishment
 English Weeds now run wild
 Waiomio
 Funeral of a New Zealand Woman
 Sail for Australia
CHAPTER XIX
 Sydney
 Excursion to Bathurst
 Aspect of the Woods
 Party of Natives
 Gradual extinction of the Aborigines
 Infection generated by associated Men in health
 Blue Mountains
 View of the grand gulf-like Valleys
 Their origin and formation
 "Bathurst, general civility of the Lower Orders"
 State of Society
 Van Diemen's Land
 Hobart Town
 Aborigines all banished
 Mount Wellington
 King George's Sound
 Cheerless Aspect of the Country
 "Bald Head, calcareous casts of branches of Trees"
 Party of Natives
 Leave Australia
CHAPTER XX
 Keeling Island
 Singular appearance
 Scanty Flora
 Transport of Seeds
 Birds and Insects
 Ebbing and flowing Springs
 Fields of dead Coral
 Stone transported in the roots of Trees
 Great Crab
 Stinging Corals
 Coral-eating Fish
 Coral Formations
 "Lagoon Islands, or Atolls"
 Depth at which reef-building Corals can live
 Vast Areas interspersed with low Coral Islands
 Subsidence of their foundations
 Barrier Reefs
 Fringing Reefs
 "Conversion of Fringing Reefs into Barrier Reefs, and into Atolls"
 Evidence of changes in Level
 Breaches in Barrier Reefs
 Areas of subsidence and elevation
 Distribution of Volcanoes
 "Subsidence slow, and vast in amount"
CHAPTER XXI
 "Mauritius, beautiful appearance of"
 Great crateriform ring of Mountains
 Hindoos
 St. Helena
 History of the changes in the Vegetation
 Cause of the extinction of Land-shells
 Ascension
 Variation in the imported Rats
 Volcanic Bombs
 Beds of Infusoria
 Bahia
 Brazil
 Splendour of Tropical Scenery
 Pernambuco
 Singular Reef
 Slavery
 Return to England
 Retrospect on our Voyage
INDEX
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2011

    Bad Scan

    Bad Scan

    Like so many of the free books available for the Nook, this scan is very poor. Pagination and printing is off. It may be a good book, but the edition fails as an ebook.

    It is not worth the trouble, and I am deleting it.

    I guess you really do get what you pay for¿

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 28, 2011

    Good free version

    Some other versions were corrupted. This one is good.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2006

    Insightful but limited

    Why read half of something, or let other people decide what aspects of Darwin's text are appropriate? For that matter, do you care what a group of anonymous B&N compilers of data think? They lead this narrative with their own biases. If you are interested in Darwin, or not, still, you should go with a more authoritative, complete edition. Stear clear.

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