Bibliographic Information
Title: Charles Darwin: Voyage of the Beagle

Author: Charles Darwin

ISBN: 978-0-140-43268-8

Publisher: Penguin Books

Copyright: 1839; additional material 1989

Book Details

Formats: Paperback

Page Count: 424


Plot Summary

Darwin travels the Pacific as a natural scientist about HMW Beagle, and observes patterns of life that lead him to develop his idea of survival of the fittest, natural selection, and evolution.

Critical Evaluation

While others were groping toward the idea of survival of the fittest and the consequent selection by nature, Darwin was the first to see it as a whole, as what we today would call an ecosystem. Although modern texts on evolution explain much that Darwin had not yet sorted out, there is great value in reading his original notes; as much to explore and understand his thinking as to fully grasp evolution as it is understood today.

Darwin published his theory of evolution, with compelling evidence, in this “On the Origin of Species”, originally published in 1859.

Reader’s Annotation

Other, more modern interpretations of Darwin’s word may well provide a more concise summary of the theory of evolution, but to read the master’s word is to understand not just what, by why Darwin drew the conclusions he did.

Information about the Author

Charles Darwin was an English naturalist best known for his contributions to evolutionary theory. Darwin’s early interest in nature led him to neglect his medical education at the University of Edinburgh. His five-year voyage on HMS Beagle established him as an eminent scientist. As a result of the voyage, he established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors, and he introduced his theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from natural selection.

His pre-eminence as a scientist was honored by burial in Westminster Abbey.



Curriculum Ties


Geography – The Route of the HMS Beagle

Ocean Navigation

Booktalking ideas

Sites seen by the HMS Beagle.

Do you believe Darwin’s ideas are well-supported by his experiences on HMS Beagle?

Why do you think his ideas are still so controversial, given all the scientific research since his original publication?

Reading Level/Interest Age
Interest Level: Age 14+

Challenge Issues




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