192 pages, 100 colour illustrations
The Beagle has become synonymous with Charles Darwin and his groundbreaking title On the Origin of Species. But how did Darwin come to be on board? Now reissued in paperback, in a single volume all the various strands of the Beagle story have been woven together to reveal the circumstances that set the expedition in motion and the characters who circumnavigated the world together.
Enriched with first-hand commentary from personal letters and diaries, and the official narrative of the voyage, as well as artworks, sketches and charts produced by the shipboard artists and surveyors, James Taylor has produced a thoroughly engaging and informative account that will appeal to historians, scientists, art lovers, and anyone with a sense of adventure.
"The book brings together a wonderful mixture of old and new illustrations and information about the voyage from widely scattered sources creating a work that will fascinate old Beaglers and landlubbers alike. No Darwin bookshelf would be complete without this book."
– John Van Wyhe, BBC History Magazine
"James Taylor has adopted a unique way of telling the story in an extremely thorough way, weaving together the various strands of the voyage in a manner not previously adopted, which is much more informative as you see the characters 'in the round.' "
– D. B. Clement, South West Soundings, South West Maritime History Society
"It really is a gorgeously produced book, which no Darwin groupie's library should be without. In an earlier review, the Beagle Project's Peter McGrath, FCD, described the book as essential and suggested that some philanthropist should endow every state school biology lab in the country with a copy. I concur wholeheartedly."
– The Friends of Charles Darwin
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Dr James Taylor, FRSA studied at the Universities of St Andrews, Manchester and Sussex. He is an accredited lecturer for the National Association of Fine and Decorative Arts; a former curator of paintings, drawings and prints, organiser of exhibitions and galleries and corporate membership manager at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich; and Victorian paintings specialist with Phillips Fine Art Auctioneers. He is an avid collector of artist-drawn picture postcards. Publications include: Marine Painting (1995), Yachts on Canvas (1998), Rule Britannia! Art, Power and Royalty (2007); Careless Talk Costs Lives: Fougasse and the Art of Public Information (2010) and Your Country Needs You: The Secret History of the Propaganda Poster (2013).