Books  Natural History  Biography, Exploration & Travel 

Charles Darwin's Notebooks from the Voyage of the Beagle

Edited By: Gordon Chancellor and John van Wyhe

615 pages, 312 figs, 10 maps, 3 tables

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Jul 2009 | #181272 | ISBN-13: 9780521517577
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £130.00 $171/€148 approx

About this book

This is the first full edition of the notebooks used by Darwin during his epic voyage in the Beagle. It contains transcriptions of all fifteen notebooks, which now survive as some of the most precious documents in the history of science.

The notebooks record the entire range of Darwin's interests and activities during the Beagle journey, with observations on geology, zoology, botany, ecology, barometer and thermometer readings, ethnography, anthropology, archaeology and linguistics, along with maps, drawings, financial records, shopping lists, reading notes, essays and personal diary entries.

Some of Darwin's critical discoveries and experiences, made famous through his own publications, are recorded in their most immediate form in the notebooks, and published here for the first time. The notebook texts are accompanied by full editorial apparatus and introductions explaining Darwin's actions at each stage, focussing on discoveries that were pivotal to convincing him that life on Earth had evolved.

'Not until now has it been possible to read in book form the immediate notes that Darwin himself had written in the little field notebooks that he carried with him ... which takes us all the way to what a young man born two hundred years ago once saw when he was for some years very far from home.' Richard Darwin Keynes, editor of Charles Darwin's Beagle Diary (Cambridge University Press) and great-grandson of Darwin


Foreword by Richard Darwin Keynes; Introduction; Acknowledgements; List of illustrations; The Notebooks: Cape de Verds, Rio, Buenos Ayres, Falkland, B. Blanca, St. Fe, Banda Oriental, Port Desire, Valparaiso, Santiago, Galapagos, Coquimbo, Copiap-, Despoblado, Sydney; Expedition equipment; Chronological register; Bibliography; Index.

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Gordon Chancellor is currently Business Manager at the UK Data Archive, University of Essex. He was formerly based at the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, and before that, managed several regional museums in the UK. He graduated in geology from the University of Wales in 1976, and completed his PhD in palaeontology at the University of Aberdeen, with periods of research at the Universities of Uppsala and Texas at Austin. He carried out post-doctoral research at the University of Oxford in the early 1980s, and began work on the initial transcriptions of the notebooks. He has published works on Cretaceous palaeontology as well as several scholarly papers on Darwin and the Beagle, and is now writing introductions to Darwin's geological publications as Associate Editor of Darwin Online. John van Wyhe is a historian of science based at the University of Cambridge. He is co-editing Darwin's Beagle notebooks, also with Cambridge University Press. In 2005 he launched Darwin Online, the aim of which is to make available online all of Darwin's publications, unpublished manuscripts and associated manuscripts. Darwin Online is the largest publication on Darwin ever created, and is used by millions of readers around the world. Van Wyhe lectures internationally, and appears frequently on TV, radio and in the press, to discuss the life and work of Darwin.

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