A classic of intellectual adventure and of travel literature this natural history narrative is a cornerstone in the development of evolutionary theory. The Beagle departed from England for Patagonia in 1831 on a voyage to map the coast of South America. The vessel's captain had an additional agenda: attempting to establish the literal truth of the biblical account of the earth's creation. His primary investigator was the ship's naturalist, young Charles Darwin, who began the voyage with both scientific and theological objections to the notion of evolution but concluded the journey with the publication of this work, a landmark in the concept of natural selection.
As the Beagle's two-year itinerary stretched into five years, Darwin found ample opportunity to note the constant change in the variety of creatures he observed, particularly among the unique animals of the Galapagos: marine iguanas and land-dwelling iguanas; giant tortoises with shells exhibiting a diverse range of shapes and patterns; and more than 20 species of finches, each with a distinctive beak. Although obviously related to each other, many species appeared to have developed adaptations that made them better suited to their particular environment.
Upon his return home in 1836, Darwin published a series of books based on the notebooks and diaries from his voyage, including this historic work essential reading for scientists, historians, and anyone with an interest in the natural world."
Classic of adventure travel and cornerstone in the development of evolutionary theory recounts Darwin's five-year sojourn in South America, where he made the observations that led to his concept of natural selection, basing many of his conclusions upon his study of the unique creatures of the Galápagos.
Charles Darwin was born in England in 1809 and attended the University of Edinburgh to study medicine. When he decided against that vocation, he enrolled at Cambridge where he earned a degree in theology. During an expedition to Africa and South America, Darwin continued his studies in natural science and began writing about his theories of natural selection. His work led to the publication of On the Origin of Species
, a book that changed the world.
Charles Darwin: Original Thinking
Each generation of students comes to Darwin's epoch-making works, several of which are the basis of our publishing program in biology and related fields: The Essential Darwin, 2006; The Descent of Man, 2010; The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, 2006; and On the Origin of the Species, 2006.
In the Author's Own Words:
"A mathematician is a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat which isn't there."
"I feel most deeply that this whole question of Creation is too profound for human intellect. A dog might as well speculate on the mind of Newton! Let each man hope and believe what he can."
"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science."
"There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved."
"Man with all his noble qualities, with sympathy which feels for the most debased, with benevolence which extends not only to other men but to the humblest living creature, with his god-like intellect which has penetrated into the movements and constitution of the solar system — with all these exalted powers — Man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin." — Charles Darwin
Atmospheric Dust with Infusoria
Habits of a Sea-slug and Cuttle-fish
"St. Paul's Rocks, non-volcanic"
Insects the first Colonists of Islands
Habits of a Diodon
Pelagic Confervæ and Infusoria
Causes of discoloured Sea
Rio de Janeiro
Excursion north of Cape Frio
Clouds on the Corcovado
"Elater, springing powers of"
Noise made by a Butterfly
Wasp killing a Spider
Artifices of an Epeira
Spider with an unsymmetrical Web
Excursion to R. Polanco
Lazo and Bolas
Absence of Trees
"Capybara, or River Hog"
"Molothrus, cuckoo-like habits"
Tubes formed by Lightning
Estancias attacked by the Indians
R. Negro to R. Colorado
Proceed to Bahia Blanca
Numerous gigantic extinct Quadrupeds
Longevity of Species
Large Animals do not require a luxuriant vegetation
Two Species of Ostrich
Habits of Oven-bird
"Venomous Snake, Toad, Lizard"
Hybernation of Animals
Habits of Sea-Pen
Indian Wars and Massacres
"Arrow head, antiquarian Relic"
Set out for Buenos Ayres
Partridges and Foxes
Features of the Century
Natural Enclosures in the Sierra Tapalguen
Flesh of Puma
Guardia del Monte
Effects of Cattle on the Vegetation
Corral where Cattle are slaughtered
Excursion to St. Fé
Habits of the Bizcacha
Change in Landscape
Tooth of extinct Horse
Relation of the Fossil and Recent Quadrupeds of North and South America
Effects of a great Drought
Habits of the Jaguar
"Kingfisher, Parrot, and Scissor-tail"
State of Government
Excursion to Colonia del Sacramiento
Value of an Estancia
"Cattle, how counted"
Singular Breed of Oxen
"Horses broken-in, Gauchos riding"
Character of Inhabitants
Flocks of Butterflies
Phosphorescence of the Sea
Port St. Julian
Geology of Patagonia
Fossil gigantic Animal
Types of Organization constant
Change in the Zoology of America
Causes of Extinction
Expedition up the River
Immense Streams of Basaltic Lava
Fragments not transported by the River
Excavation of the Valley
"Condor, habits of"
Erratic Boulders of great size
Return to the Ship
"Wild Horses, Cattle, Rabbits"
Fire made of Bones
Manner of hunting Wild Cattle
Streams of Stones
Scenes of Violence
Eggs of Doris
"Tierra del Fuego, first arrival"
Good Success Bay
An Account of the Fuegians on board
Interview with the Savages
Scenery of the Forests
Miserable Condition of the Savages
Build Wigwams and settle the Fuegians
Bifurcation of the Beagle Channel
Return to the Ship
Second Visit in the Ship to the Settlement
Equality of Condition amongst the Natives
Strait of Magellan
Ascent of Mount Tarn
Leave Tierra del Fuego
Fruit-trees and Productions of the Southern Coasts
Height of Snow-line on the Cordillera
Descent of Glaciers to the Sea
Transportal of Boulders
Climate and Productions of the Antarctic Islands
Preservation of Frozen Carcasses
Excursion to the Foot of the Andes
Structure of the Land
Ascend the Bell of Quillota
Shattered Masses of Greenstone
State of Miners
Hot-baths of Cauquenes
Habits of the Puma
El Turco and Tapacolo
Ascend San Pedro
Peninsul of Tres Montes
Formation of Peat
"Myopotamus, Otter and Mice"
Cheucau and Barking-bird
Singular Character of Ornithology
"San Carlos, Chiloe"
"Osorno in Eruption, contemporaneously with Aconcagua and Coseguina"
Ride to Cucao
Appearance of the former Towns
The Sea Black and Boiling
Direction of the Vibrations
Stones twisted round
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
Sagacity of Mules
"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
Probable change of Climate
River-bed arched by an Earthquake
Cold Gales of Wind
Noises from a Hill
Nitrate of Soda
"Ruins of Callao, overthrown by an Earthquake"
"Elevated Shells on San Lorenzo, their decomposition "
Plain with embedded Shells and fragments of Pottery
Antiquity of the Indian Race
The whole Group Volcanic
Number of Craters
Colony at Charles Island
Salt-lake in Crater
Natural History of the Group
"Ornithology, curious Finches"
"Great Tortoises, habits of"
"Marine Lizard, feeds on Sea-weed"
"Terrestrial Lizard, burrowing habits, herbivorous"
Importance of Reptiles in the Archipelago
"Fish, Shells, Insects"
American Type of Organization
Differences in the Species or Races on different Islands
Tameness of the Birds
"Fear of Man, an acquired Instinct"
Pass through the Low Archipelago
Vegetation on the Mountains
View of Eimeo
Excursion into the Interior
Succession of Waterfalls
Number of wild useful Plants
Temperance of the Inhabitants
Their moral state
Bay of Islands
Excursion to Waimate
English Weeds now run wild
Funeral of a New Zealand Woman
Sail for Australia
Excursion to Bathurst
Aspect of the Woods
Party of Natives
Gradual extinction of the Aborigines
Infection generated by associated Men in health
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
Aborigines all banished
King George's Sound
Cheerless Aspect of the Country
"Bald Head, calcareous casts of branches of Trees"
Party of Natives
Transport of Seeds
Birds and Insects
Ebbing and flowing Springs
Fields of dead Coral
Stone transported in the roots of Trees
"Lagoon Islands, or Atolls"
Depth at which reef-building Corals can live
Vast Areas interspersed with low Coral Islands
Subsidence of their foundations
"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"
"Mauritius, beautiful appearance of"
Great crateriform ring of Mountains
History of the changes in the Vegetation
Cause of the extinction of Land-shells
Variation in the imported Rats
Beds of Infusoria
Splendour of Tropical Scenery
Return to England
Retrospect on our Voyage