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Original Essays | April 11, 2014

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

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

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The adventurous life and many accomplishments of the sea captain who invited Charles Darwin aboard

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.



John Gribbin and Mary Gribbin are visiting fellows at the University of Sussex. John Gribbin has long been interested in the weather and is a fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society. Mary Gribbin has a special interest in exploration and is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. Together they have written many books on science topics.







Review:

"History has not looked favorably on Robert FitzRoy (1805 — 1865), who captained the Beagle on Charles Darwin's famous trip around the globe. FitzRoy shared an inclination toward mental instability with his uncle Lord Castlereagh, one of the architects of post-Napoleonic Europe, and ultimately slit his own throat. He became a Bible-quoting literalist on the creation of the world and famously broke with Darwin after the publication of On the Origin of Species. However, the Gribbins (Stardust) show that FitzRoy was dedicated to public service. As governor of New Zealand he offended colonists in his zeal to be fair toward the native Maoris, which got him quickly recalled. As head of the Meteorological Office he helped put the young field of meteorology on firm scientific foundations by setting up observation stations all around the British Isles, linked to London by telegraph. His network of storm warnings and uniform system of storm signals for use aboard ships were highly successful. Fitzroy was also the first to use the term 'weather forecast.' The Gribbins successfully pull their subject out of Darwin's long shadow and portray him as a notable figure in his own right. Readers interested in Darwin, meteorology or 19th-century seagoing life will all find this a delightful read. B&w illus. Agent, Emma Sweeney at Harold Ober Assoc. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

This exceptionally interesting biography brings Robert FitzRoy--captain of the Beagle--out of Charles Darwin's shadow for the first time and spotlights his groundbreaking weather forecasting skills.

Synopsis:

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 Darwins 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, FitzRoys life was in the mold of a Patrick OBrian novel. Later disappointments, including an unpopular tenure as governor of New Zealand and a sense of dismay over his own contributions to Darwins 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 FitzRoys status as a scientist and seaman, affirming that his was a life which, despite its sorrowful end, encompassed many more successes than failures.

About the Author

John Gribbin and Mary Gribbin are visiting fellows at the University of Sussex. John Gribbin has long been interested in the weather and is a fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society. Mary Gribbin has a special interest in exploration and is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. Together they have written many books on science topics.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780300103618
Author:
Gribbin, John
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Author:
Gribbin, John R.
Author:
Gribbin, Mary
Subject:
Historical - British
Subject:
Science & Technology
Subject:
Earth Sciences - Meteorology & Climatology
Subject:
Scientists - General
Subject:
General Biography
Subject:
Biography-Scientists
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20040831
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
8 pp. b/w insert + 21 line drawings
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.13 in 1.5 lb

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Related Subjects

Biography » Historical
Biography » Science and Technology
Reference » Science Reference » Meterorology
Science and Mathematics » Physics » Meteorology

FitzRoy: The Remarkable Story of Darwin's Captain and the Invention of the Weather Forecast Used Hardcover
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$14.95 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Yale University Press - English 9780300103618 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "History has not looked favorably on Robert FitzRoy (1805 — 1865), who captained the Beagle on Charles Darwin's famous trip around the globe. FitzRoy shared an inclination toward mental instability with his uncle Lord Castlereagh, one of the architects of post-Napoleonic Europe, and ultimately slit his own throat. He became a Bible-quoting literalist on the creation of the world and famously broke with Darwin after the publication of On the Origin of Species. However, the Gribbins (Stardust) show that FitzRoy was dedicated to public service. As governor of New Zealand he offended colonists in his zeal to be fair toward the native Maoris, which got him quickly recalled. As head of the Meteorological Office he helped put the young field of meteorology on firm scientific foundations by setting up observation stations all around the British Isles, linked to London by telegraph. His network of storm warnings and uniform system of storm signals for use aboard ships were highly successful. Fitzroy was also the first to use the term 'weather forecast.' The Gribbins successfully pull their subject out of Darwin's long shadow and portray him as a notable figure in his own right. Readers interested in Darwin, meteorology or 19th-century seagoing life will all find this a delightful read. B&w illus. Agent, Emma Sweeney at Harold Ober Assoc. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , This exceptionally interesting biography brings Robert FitzRoy--captain of the Beagle--out of Charles Darwin's shadow for the first time and spotlights his groundbreaking weather forecasting skills.

"Synopsis" by ,

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 Darwins 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, FitzRoys life was in the mold of a Patrick OBrian novel. Later disappointments, including an unpopular tenure as governor of New Zealand and a sense of dismay over his own contributions to Darwins 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 FitzRoys 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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