The young Charles Darwin was like a young Indiana Jones. For five years in his mid-twenties, he sailed on the Beagle around the world, exploring jungles, climbing mountains, trekking across deserts. With every new landfall, he had new adventures: he rode through bandit country, was thrown in jail by revolutionaries, took part in an armed raid with marines, survived two earthquakes, hunted and fished. He suffered the terrible cold and rain of Tierra del Fuego, the merciless heat of the Australian outback and the inner pangs of heartbreak. He also made the discoveries that finally led him to formulate his theory of Natural Selection as the driving force of evolution. The five-year voyage of the Beagle was the basis for all Darwin's later work; but it also turned him from a friendly idler into the greatest scientist of his century.
About the Author
Kevin Jackson is an English writer, and has worked as a film-maker, radio producer and television director for the BBC; Associate Arts Editor for The Independent. He has written for The New Yorker, Granta, The Sunday Times (London), The Guardian, and Vogue, among other publications. His books have been chosen as a Book of the Week in the Guardian and a Book of the Year in the Express.
Table of Contents
Ship diagram 8
Prologue: The Calm after the Storms 10
Chapter 1 Charles the Idler 15
Chapter 2 The Great Opportunity 27
Chapter 3 Under Sail (1831 - 2) 37
Chapter 4 In South America 43
Chapter 5 The Land of Fire 57
Chapter 6 El Naturalista Don Carlos 69
Chapter 7 Return to Tierra del Fuego and into the Pacific 81
Chapter 8 Earthquakes and Volcanoes 91
Chapter 9 Galapagos 97
Chapter 10 Slow Journey Home 103