Books  Natural History  Biography, Exploration & Travel 

Darwin's Other Islands

By: PH Armstrong

256 pages, B/w photos, illus

Continuum Publishing

Hardback | Dec 2005 | #155702 | ISBN: 0826475310
Temporarily out of stock: order now to get this when available Details
NHBS Price: £95.00 $124/€108 approx

About this book

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


The life and work of Charles Robert Darwin (1809-1882); The importance of islands to Darwin's work; 'The islands that never were'; The source of inspiration; 'The smallest rocks in the topical seas'; Contrasting environments, changing ideas; The end of the earth; Finding themes; Across the wide Pacific; Maoris and Missionaries; The vulgar princess; Colonial Outpost; 'I am glad we called at these islands'; Mauritian interlude; St Helena and Ascension; The Last Island; 'The habit of comparison leads to generalisation'

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