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Voyage of the Beagle

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  5,139 Ratings  ·  291 Reviews
Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution and natural selection has been debated and disparaged over time, but there is no dispute that he is responsible for some of the most remarkable and groundbreaking scientific findings in history. His five-year trip as a naturalist on the H.M.S. Beagletook him on a journey to such exotic locales as Chile, Argentina, and the Galapagos Isla ...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published April 1st 2004 by National Geographic (first published 1839)
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Roy Lotz
This book is really a rare treasure. Is there anything comparable? Here we have the very man whose ideas have revolutionized completely our understanding of life, writing with charm about the very voyage which sparked and shaped his thinking on the subject. And even if this book wasn’t a window into the mind of one of history’s most influential thinkers, it would still be entertaining on its own merits. Indeed, the public at the time thought so, making Darwin into a bestselling author.

I can har
Aug 18, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Beagle was sent on a surveying mission by the Royal Navy; initially it was intended to last three years but it was extended to five and the ship circumnavigated the globe. The captain, Fitzroy, wanted a companion on the voyage and through a convoluted series of events, ended up with a youthful Darwin along, which so annoyed the official ship's Naturalist who was also the surgeon (as was common), that he resigned and left at the first port of call, part way across the Atlantic. Fortunately an ...more
Camille Stein
Oct 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Caricatura de Charles Darwin
This is not the correct edition. Mine is published by Recorded Books, read by John Franklin Robbins, & is just selections from the book, about 4.5 hours long, with additional material - a really good biography. It was short & to the point. It's been a long time since I last read this, but I think I liked it in audio better than in print. Darwin's prose is perfect for being read out loud.

Everyone always talks about Darwin's theories on evolution which makes it tough to remember that he w
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Darwin's own account of the, now almost legendary, five year voyage of the Beagle is an entertaining, illuminating and fascinating read. Darwin writes with such enthusiasm that it's difficult not to be swept up in the journey and the remarkable things he witnessed and studied as he circumnavigated the globe.

The only thing I found slightly disappointing was Darwin's attitude towards some of the peoples (or, as he refers to them, 'savages') he interacted with on his trek. Darwin was famously anti-
J.L.   Sutton
Apr 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating glimpse on Darwin’s early impressions of race, slavery, decolonization, the dichotomy of savagery and civilization, and the survival of the fittest (as well as his descriptions of a wide variety of fauna and stunning natural scenery)
Jan 27, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Commanders in the Royal Navy could not socialize with their crew. They ate their meals alone-- then they met with the officers on board ship. This took it's mental toll on the ship's Captain's and so they were allowed a "civil" companion-- someone from outside the Navy who would be under their command but was not part of the crew. Captain Fitz Roy (age 26), a Nobleman and a passionate Naturalist chose Charles Darwin (a wealthy, upper-class Naturalist "enthusiast") to be his companion aboard the ...more
Oct 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Per comprendere il valore di questo libro è opportuno dimenticare il Darwin barbuto e severo ritratto sui frontespizi e sulle enciclopedie: quando si imbarcò sul Beagle aveva soltanto ventidue anni. Non era autore di pubblicazioni scientifiche, non era celebre, non aveva idee rivoluzionarie; era un giovane inglese orgoglioso della sua patria e della sua cultura, fervente antischiavista, innamorato della magnificenza del Messiah di Händel (con il trasporto tipico della sua età) e dei libri di Ale ...more
Olaf Gütte
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Der Erfinder der Evolutionstheorie, Charles Darwin, tritt mit diesem Werk in die Fußstapfen seines großen Vorbilds, Alexander von Humboldt.
Literarisch etwas begabter als der deutsche Naturforscher beschreibt er hier stellenweise sehr detailliert, was Flora und Fauna in Südamerika, Galapagos, Tahiti, Australien sowie Mauritius
zu bieten hat.
Für den Leser ist die Ausdrucksweise, wie sie Mitte des 19. Jahrhunderts üblich war und hier von Darwin praktiziert wird, etwas anstrengend, was die Qualität d
Gilly McGillicuddy
What I wrote in my LJ while I was reading it.

So I've started reading The Voyage of the Beagle. I've only read a chapter or so so far, but it's very enjoyable. I just kind of wish I'd paid more attention to my geology classes in school. It's a lot more relaxed and not nearly as self-conscious and defensive as TOoS was. It's all along the lines of "Hi all! We arrived on Random Island today. The trees are pretty but the people didn't even give us coffee. Can you believe it?! Anyhoo, I found a rock
Erik Graff
Apr 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Erik by: Bill Ellos
Shelves: sciences
Upon matriculating into Loyola University's MA/PhD program in philosophy during the late summer of 1980, I was assigned to Bill Ellos as his teaching assistant. Bill, a deep-cover Jesuit, had come to Chicago from Washington State, having done some work there with educational film as well as being a university professor. His interests were diverse to say the least. His doctoral dissertation form the Pontifical Institute in Rome was on Wittgenstein, but the work he had me doing originally was most ...more
Darwin was largely a paternalistic meliorist, who apparently genuinely believed that Europeans were improving people's lives through colonialism, missionaries, etc.

This book reveals odd doubts, though. Darwin expresses agnostic puzzlement about oral histories telling of terrible plagues accompanying the arrival of Europeans. He's not sure how to believe it, and yet can't (quite) dismiss it--so he recommends further study (which, I might add, has confirmed the stories of epidemics in spades).

Nov 30, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Frequently exceedingly dry and of no interest except to naturalists, and probably not always them either: Darwin's voyage was so long ago that much of his information and speculation is simply outdated (his talk of 'miasmas' is one instance where later information makes his material of purely historical interest).

If one is reading it for background on evolution and _Origin of Species_, one will be disappointed: there are a handful of lines in the main part of the work which may be taken as prefi
This book obviously shows its age as a work of science writing, but it is a magnificent travelogue. Darwin's voyage, detailed in this account, transformed his beliefs and laid the groundwork for his theories of evolution. His descriptions of the indigenous peoples he encountered, as well as the fellow expatriates and travelers he met, make for an entertaining cast of characters, set against an ever-changing, but continually marvelous background of islands and foreign lands. We meet a wide range ...more
Duffy Pratt
For a long time (too long), it looked like it was going to take me longer to read this book than it took the Beagle to sail around the world. Darwin was a brilliant man, and a fine writer. But the genre of naturalistic travel writings is just not for me. In a similar vein, I've also read some of Thoreau's travel writings, a less brilliant man but a better writer, and came away with the same feeling.

In brief sections, I would find the book brilliant. But those brief sections would not be enough t
Jen Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ
Darwin definitely keep detailed accounts of his encounters with the indigenous population & wasn't especially cruel but continued to distinguish people as either civilized or barbaric. I loved the geographic, geological, & zoological accounts of his travel journal.
Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first Darwin. Fascinating reading. Though he exhibits the quintessential British superiority complex which marked his time, there's no denying his CURIOSITY was extraordinary.

His notes were meticulous, and I imagine in person he was as pesky as a 21st century four year old. Some readers will find all this detail makes for dry reading, but I thought it was an inspiring lesson in attention and careful reflection on the information one has gathered on a topic.

Darwin also remarks on less scient
Darwin traveled aboard the H.M.S. Beagle in the 1830's, stopping at the Galapagos Islands, Tahiti, New Zealand, Australia, and all over South America in the five year journey. This work chronicles the events of the trip itself and reads partly as a traveler's journal and partly as a detailed description of the natural surroundings by a scientist. Stopping at the Galapagos Islands resulted in the formulation of a new theory which changed the face of modern science, but the voyage was apparently f ...more
Elliott Bignell
Apr 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This beautifully-written account of Darwin's formative voyage presents sides of him that will surprise many 21st-Century readers. It is probably well understood by now that Darwin did not see the finches of the Galapagos and experience a crash of evolutionary transcendence like an incoming Pterodactyl. He developed the theory patiently over the subsequent decades, and his experiences in his five years with the "Beagle" only contributed retrospectively. But the fact is that he was at this time al ...more
keith koenigsberg
Feb 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
The Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin (w-1839 r-12/2006 hrs-9). A captivating narrative of scientific exploration, and probably the best adventure travel book I've ever read. Certain to uplift your mind and your spirit.

First, although he is occasionally a bit long-winded in a Victorian way, and also occasionally goes into deep scientific detail which the modern lay reader will be tempted to skim, the majorioty of the volume is terse, modern, and exciting. Second, there is an actual adventu
Darwinit lugeda on naljakas, nii tema enda kõnepruugi kui tõlke pärast (mis on kas lihtsalt absurdne, aegunud või asjatundmatu - raske on aru saada, mis just - ma arvan, et kas a) keel on 50ndatest nii palju muutunud, eriti teadussõnavara või b) tõlkija leiutas seda käigu pealt), aga samas meeleolukas (see ju vanade raamatute juurde käibki).

Meeltheitmavõttev lühikeste ent rahulikult hirmsate (st Darwin ja tema kaasaegsed võtavad kõike otseselt ja rahulikult midagi imeks panemata) kirjelduste ja

In the first one hundred pages of the Voyage of the Beagle Charles Darwin is writing a journal  about his encounters and discoveries of visiting multiple islands and countries  while satisfying his curiosity by exploring everything that would make him wonder. He filled the journal with his questions, observations, experiments, and helpful facts from either him or other people. The book also provided diagrams to help the readers visualize the things he saw. Throughout the book he describes the th
Mary Soderstrom
Aug 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Best Book I Ever Read on a Holiday

We're going to take a little vacation, and along with getting house-sitters lined up, I've been thinking about what to take to read. Don't know yet, but I keep coming back to the best book I ever read while on a trip.

It's Darwin's The Voyage of the Beagle. Now available as a free pdf, 35 years ago the edition I took along was a quality paperback that still is in one piece despite being consulted many times. It was just the right size to tuck in a backpack or
Katya Epstein
Jul 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book a lot. It was a delight for me to discover that Charles Darwin was a real geek, brimming with an enthusiasm for all things geological or entomological (or zoological) that shines through in spite of the incredibly dry and haughty reading by David Case (I was listening to the audiobook). Darwin went on an unimaginably wild five-year adventure all the way around the world, but he refers only in passing to any of the danger or drama encountered: To him the fossils and geo ...more
May 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Darwin's ability to observe the natural world during his circumvention of the southern hemisphere on the H.M.S. Beagle is surpassed only by his ability to recollect and synthesize his observations into theories which then seem self-evident. With only an occasional tangent into analysis, he spends the majority of the book ruminating on the geological forces exerting slow but inexorable changes on the plains of Brazil, the mountains of Chile, and the archipelagos of the Pacific, and describing the ...more
Apr 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i have waited 47 years* to read this book and finally got to it ... ohmy ohmy ohmy ... highly recommended: it's a travelogue, a naturalist's journal ... it includes geology, cultural observations, ornithology, oceanography, and all manner of things on flora and fauna particular to locations visited ... all from c. darwin's perspective. wow. THE travel journal to lead and to end ALL travel journals, imo.

*in the spring of 1965 for a biology class at lsu, i attended a lecture by an enthusiastic pr
Feb 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: podcast podcast. This is a wonderful natural history diary of Charles Darwin's nearly five year tour around the world. He was an incredibly intelligent and insightful man. I read a very short Darwin biography that stated he was "the discoverer of natural selection..." No, he postulated the theory and presented evidence to back up his theory. He was not the only one to see the relationships between time and the differences in earth forms, and the differences in families and species of plants ...more
Sue Tincher
The Voyage of the Beagle gave me some insight into the 5-year journey Charles Darwin took which gave rise to the theory of evolution. I didn't like the fact that it was mostly a travelogue and catalog of natural history. But the parts where he expresses thoughts that would later be incorporated into evolution were interesting, as when he is wondering at the different species of finches on the different Galapagos Islands, or noting the very unusual fauna of Australia. This edition also has an ess ...more
Feb 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What I actually read was a Project Gutenberg edition which lacked the illustrations which was a pity.

Enjoyed the book very much especially since I'd just read Lyell's Principles of Geology.

Fascinating account of the countries he travelled in, but for some reason he says nothing about the time they spent in South Africa. Which I had been looking forward to. Is there an edition which does recount that part of the story? Only a few weeks but he must have seen something of interest there.
Jun 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the abridged version by Millicent E. Selsam. Amazing account of Darwin's 5 years at sea. You really get insight into how he was able to put together his theory of evolution. Interesting how he thought through the way coral reefs were formed.Very readable. This version is from the 1950's and probably out of print, but still quite relevant today.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • The Journals
  • The Malay Archipelago
  • Leonardo's Mountain of Clams and the Diet of Worms: Essays on Natural History
  • Principles of Geology
  • Travels into the Interior of Africa
  • Cooper's Creek
  • Darwin: The Life of a Tormented Evolutionist
  • Darwin's Origin of the Species: A Biography
  • Through the Brazilian Wilderness
  • Voyages and Discoveries: Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation
  • Evolution's Captain: The Dark Fate of the Man Who Sailed Charles Darwin Around the World
  • The Edge of the Sea
  • In Trouble Again: A Journey Between the Orinoco and the Amazon
  • The Royal Road to Romance: Travelers' Tales Classics
Charles Robert Darwin was an English naturalist, eminent as a collector and geologist, who proposed and provided scientific evidence that all species of life have evolved over time from common ancestors through the process he called natural selection. The fact that evolution occurs became accepted by the scientific community and the general public in his lifetime, while his theory of natural selec ...more
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“If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” 244 likes
“In conclusion, it appears that nothing can be more improving to a young naturalist, than a journey in distant countries.” 14 likes
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