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5 Local Warehouse Biology- Darwin Criticism

Evolution's Captain: The Story of the Kidnapping That Led to Charles Darwin's Voyage aboard the Beagle

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Evolution's Captain: The Story of the Kidnapping That Led to Charles Darwin's Voyage aboard the Beagle Cover

ISBN13: 9780060088781
ISBN10: 0060088788
Condition:
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Evolution's Captain is the story of a visionary, but now forgotten, English naval officer but for whom the "Darwinian Revolution" would never have occurred. When Captain Robert FitzRoy, the twenty-six-year-old captain of the H.M.S. Beagle, set out for Tierra del Fuego in the fall of 1831, he invited a young naturalist to accompany him. That twenty-two-year-old gentleman was Charles Darwin, and perhaps no single voyage in history had a greater impact on how we would come to understand the world — in both religious and scientific terms.

When the Beagle's first captain committed suicide while at sea in 1828, he was replaced by a young naval officer of a new mold. Robert FitzRoy was the most brilliant and scientific sea captain of his age. He used the Beagle, a survey vessel, as a laboratory for the new field of the natural sciences. But his plan to bring four "savages" home to England to civilize them as Christian gentlefolk backfired when scandal loomed over their sexual misbehavior at the Walthamstow Infants School. FitzRoy needed to get them out of England fast, and thus was born the second and most famous voyage of the Beagle.

FitzRoy feared the loneliness of another long voyage — with madness in his own family, he was haunted by the fate of the Beagle's previous captain — so for company he took with him the young amateur naturalist Charles Darwin. Like FitzRoy, Darwin believed, at the beginning of the voyage, in the absolute word of the Bible and the story of man's creation. The two men spent five years circling the globe together, but by the end of their voyage they had reached startlingly different conclusions about the origins of the natural world.

In naval terms, the voyage was a stunning scientific success. But FitzRoy, a fanatical Christian, was horrified by the heretical theories Darwin began to develop. As these began to influence the profoundest levels of religious and scientific thinking in the nineteenth century, FitzRoy's knowledge that he had provided Darwin with the vehicle for his sacrilegious ideas propelled him down an irrevocable path to suicide.

This true story — part biography, part sea drama, and a subtle study of one of the defining moments in the history of science — reads like the finest historical fiction. It is a chronicle of the remarkable chain of events without which Darwin would most likely have lived and died an obscure English country parson with a fondness for collecting beetles.

Review:

"A powerful story played out against a beguiling landscape." New York Times Book Review

Review:

"A fascinating account...[A] finely researched, engaging book." Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Review:

"This engrossing account of Fitzroy's life reads like the finest historical fiction." Sunday Telegraph

Review:

"A fascinating account." Edmonton Sun

Review:

"Marvelous...[A] fascinating and expert amalgam of history, science, anthropology and adventure." Derek Lundy, author of The Way of a Ship

Synopsis:

This is the story of the man without whom the name Charles Darwin might be unknown to us today. That man was Captain Robert FitzRoy, who invited the 22-year-old Darwin to be his companion on board the Beagle.

This is the remarkable story of how a misguided decision by Robert FitzRoy, captain of HMS Beagle, precipitated his employment of a young naturalist named Charles Darwin, and how the clash between FitzRoy’s fundamentalist views and Darwin’s discoveries led to FitzRoy’s descent into the abyss.

One of the great ironies of history is that the famous journey—wherein Charles Darwin consolidated the earth-rattling ‘origin of the species’ discoveries—was conceived by another man: Robert FitzRoy. It was FitzRoy who chose Darwin for the journey—not because of Darwin’s scientific expertise, but because he seemed a suitable companion to help FitzRoy fight back the mental illness that had plagued his family for generations. Darwin did not give FitzRoy solace; indeed, the clash between the two men’s opposing views, together with the ramifications of Darwin’s revelations, provided FitzRoy with the final unendurable torment that forced him to end his own life.

Synopsis:

This is the story of the man without whom the name Charles Darwin might be unknown to us today. That man was Captain Robert FitzRoy, who invited the 22-year-old Darwin to be his companion on board the Beagle .

This is the remarkable story of how a misguided decision by Robert FitzRoy, captain of HMS Beagle , precipitated his employment of a young naturalist named Charles Darwin, and how the clash between FitzRoys fundamentalist views and Darwins discoveries led to FitzRoys descent into the abyss.

One of the great ironies of history is that the famous journey—wherein Charles Darwin consolidated the earth-rattling ‘origin of the species discoveries—was conceived by another man: Robert FitzRoy. It was FitzRoy who chose Darwin for the journey—not because of Darwins scientific expertise, but because he seemed a suitable companion to help FitzRoy fight back the mental illness that had plagued his family for generations. Darwin did not give FitzRoy solace; indeed, the clash between the two mens opposing views, together with the ramifications of Darwins revelations, provided FitzRoy with the final unendurable torment that forced him to end his own life.

About the Author

Peter Nichols is the author of the national bestseller A Voyage for Madmen and two other books, Sea Change: Alone Across the Atlantic in a Wooden Boat, a memoir, and the novel Voyage to the North Star. He has taught creative writing at NYU in Paris and Georgetown University, and presently teaches at Bowdoin College. He lives in Maine with his wife and son.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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pencilmein, January 15, 2010 (view all comments by pencilmein)
Fascinating! If it were fiction, it's almost too fantastic to be believable. As history, this is an engrossing read, detailing more of the background of Darwin's travels and his eventual publication of his theory of evolution than I'd seen previously. Very interesting and highly recommended!
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780060088781
Subtitle:
The Story of the Kidnapping That Led to Charles Darwin's Voyage Aboard the Beagle
Author:
Nichols, Peter
Author:
by Peter Nichols
Author:
Nicholls, Peter
Publisher:
Harper Perennial
Subject:
History
Subject:
Life Sciences - Evolution
Subject:
Scientists - General
Subject:
Science & Technology
Subject:
History of Science-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Publication Date:
20040629
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
8.02x5.42x.84 in. .68 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Science and Technology
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Darwin Criticism
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Evolution
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » General
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Darwin

Evolution's Captain: The Story of the Kidnapping That Led to Charles Darwin's Voyage aboard the Beagle Sale Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.98 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Perennial - English 9780060088781 Reviews:
"Review" by , "A powerful story played out against a beguiling landscape."
"Review" by , "A fascinating account...[A] finely researched, engaging book."
"Review" by , "This engrossing account of Fitzroy's life reads like the finest historical fiction."
"Review" by , "A fascinating account."
"Review" by , "Marvelous...[A] fascinating and expert amalgam of history, science, anthropology and adventure."
"Synopsis" by , This is the story of the man without whom the name Charles Darwin might be unknown to us today. That man was Captain Robert FitzRoy, who invited the 22-year-old Darwin to be his companion on board the Beagle.

This is the remarkable story of how a misguided decision by Robert FitzRoy, captain of HMS Beagle, precipitated his employment of a young naturalist named Charles Darwin, and how the clash between FitzRoy’s fundamentalist views and Darwin’s discoveries led to FitzRoy’s descent into the abyss.

One of the great ironies of history is that the famous journey—wherein Charles Darwin consolidated the earth-rattling ‘origin of the species’ discoveries—was conceived by another man: Robert FitzRoy. It was FitzRoy who chose Darwin for the journey—not because of Darwin’s scientific expertise, but because he seemed a suitable companion to help FitzRoy fight back the mental illness that had plagued his family for generations. Darwin did not give FitzRoy solace; indeed, the clash between the two men’s opposing views, together with the ramifications of Darwin’s revelations, provided FitzRoy with the final unendurable torment that forced him to end his own life.

"Synopsis" by , This is the story of the man without whom the name Charles Darwin might be unknown to us today. That man was Captain Robert FitzRoy, who invited the 22-year-old Darwin to be his companion on board the Beagle .

This is the remarkable story of how a misguided decision by Robert FitzRoy, captain of HMS Beagle , precipitated his employment of a young naturalist named Charles Darwin, and how the clash between FitzRoys fundamentalist views and Darwins discoveries led to FitzRoys descent into the abyss.

One of the great ironies of history is that the famous journey—wherein Charles Darwin consolidated the earth-rattling ‘origin of the species discoveries—was conceived by another man: Robert FitzRoy. It was FitzRoy who chose Darwin for the journey—not because of Darwins scientific expertise, but because he seemed a suitable companion to help FitzRoy fight back the mental illness that had plagued his family for generations. Darwin did not give FitzRoy solace; indeed, the clash between the two mens opposing views, together with the ramifications of Darwins revelations, provided FitzRoy with the final unendurable torment that forced him to end his own life.

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