Voyage of the Beagle

Date: 1899
Owner: D. Appleton & Co. 
Source Type: Publications


These excerpts were taken from the journal that Charles Darwin kept while sailing around the world on the Beagle, which was first published in 1839 under the title Journal of Researches into the Natural History and Geology of the Countries visited during the Voyage of the H.M.S. "Beagle" Round the World, Under the Command of Capt. FitzRoy, R.N.. Although he had not yet formulated fully his theory of evolution, it is evident in many of the chapters (such as "Relation of the Fossil and recent Quadrupeds of North and South America") that he was beginning to work it out.The chapters on the Galapagos, extinction, and paleontology also bear witness to his evolving ideas. For insights into Darwin's ethnological studies, the chapter on the Fuegians is the most revealing. The chapter written on the Brazilian rainforest just after first arriving in South America is the best illustration of Darwin's general enthusiasm as a naturalist, a sentiment shared in Humboldt's writings about South America's eastern jungles. Darwin's formal works, especially On the Origins of Species and The Descent of Man include the mature form of his theory of evolution and are essential reading for anyone interested in Darwin or biology in general. This journal, though, captures the passion of a young naturalist who knows he is acquiring the pieces necessary to formulate one of the grandest theories of all time.

CITATION: Darwin, Charles. The Voyage of the Beagle. New York: D. Appleton & Co, 1899.