256 pages, B/w photos, illus
Charles Darwin's visit to the Galapagos islands has been the subject of many studies but the significance of his experiences on the other islands visited during his Beagle voyage has not been documented. This study examines the visits Darwin made to the 'other islands' - The Falklands, Azores, Pacific Islands, Australia (including Tasmania), New Zealand, Mauritius, the Cocos Group, Chiloe and other islands off South America - redressing the balance of published material focusing on the Galapagos Islands.
Using archival sources, such as Darwin's original field notes and the log of the HMS Beagle, as well as recent fieldwork in the islands, this book provides the first complete evaluation of the whole of Darwin's island experience. It documents his visits to the various islands and island groups, describes how the islands look today, and evaluates these visits in relation to the entire corpus of Darwin's work.
This comparative treatment provides fresh insights into the role played by these islands in the development of his 'Theory of Coral Reefs', his book on 'Volcanic Islands' and the research into barnacles, which established his scientific reputation, as well as the material they provided for his later ideas on evolution.
'Geographer and ecologist Patrick Armstrong has consulted Darwin's correspondence, emulated his terrestrial journeys, and visited many of the forty islands which Darwin experienced... Now, working with Darwin's diary maintained aboard HMS Beagle, Armstrong has provided us with this splendid study of Darwin and the islands.' Professor Geoffrey J. Martin, Southern Connecticut State University
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