Charles Darwin: The Beagle Letters

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Cambridge University Press, Sep 4, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 470 pages
Charles Darwin's voyage on the HMS Beagle is a gripping adventure story, and a turning point in the making of the modern world. Brought together here in chronological order, the letters he wrote and received during his trip provide a first-hand account of a voyage of discovery that was as much personal as intellectual. We follow Darwin's adventures as he prepares for his travels, lands on his first tropical island, watches an earthquake level a city, and learns how to catch ostriches from a running horse. We witness slavery, political revolution, and epidemic disease, and share the otherworldly experience of landing on the Galapagos Islands and collecting specimens. His letters are counterpoised by replies from family and friends that record a comfortable, intimate world back in England. Original watercolors by the ship's artist Conrad Martens vividly bring to life Darwin's descriptions of his travels.

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Charles Darwin: The Beagle Letters

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In addition to Darwin's scholarly books and articles, his voluminous letters make him perhaps the most prolific correspondent in the history of science. This body of work has been edited and presented ... Read full review

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About the author (2008)

Charles Robert Darwin, born in 1809, was an English naturalist who founded the theory of Darwinism, the belief in evolution as determined by natural selection. Although Darwin studied medicine at Edinburgh University, and then studied at Cambridge University to become a minister, he had been interested in natural history all his life. His grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, was a noted English poet, physician, and botanist who was interested in evolutionary development. Darwin's works have had an incalculable effect on all aspects of the modern thought. Darwin's most famous and influential work, On the Origin of Species, provoked immediate controversy. Darwin's other books include Zoology of the Voyage of the Beagle, The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication, The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex. Charles Darwin died in 1882.

Frederick Burkhardt (1912 007) was the founder of the Charles Darwin Correspondence Project, and the associated high-profile book series The Correspondence of Charles Darwin (Cambridge University Press, 1985- ). He was the President of the American Council of Learned Societies from 1957 to 1974, and in 2003 was awarded the American Philosophical Society Thomas Jefferson Gold Medal for Distinguished Achievement in the Arts, Humanities, or Social Sciences. This volume is the work of the Editors of the Charles Darwin Correspondence Project (http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk).

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