July 16, 2014

Charles Darwin’s Beagle Library

For the five years Charles Darwin spent sailing on the HMS Beagle — a journey intended to last just two years — the budding naturalist had around 404 books for company (along with the crew of over 70). The collection mostly belong to Captain FitzRoy, who had taken over after the previous captain, Pringle Stokes, committed suicide. After the ship returned to England on October 2, 1836, the books were dispersed, only now reassembled in a digital form.

1. Diagram of the HMS Beagle (1832), with the library at the top right above the “Captain’s Store room” 

2. Bird dissection illustration from William Swainson’s 1822 “The naturalist’s guide for collecting and preserving all subjects of natural history and botany, intended for the use of students and travellers”

3. Illustration from Thomas Pennant’s “History of quadrupeds” (1793)

4. Illustration from Thomas Pennant’s “History of quadrupeds” (1793)

5. The Marmota Africana (or African Rat) illustrated in Carl Peter Thunberg’s “Travels in Europe, Africa and Asia, performed between the years 1770 and 1779″ (1795-96)

6. “Dangers of the Whale Fishery” illustration from William Scoresby’s 1820 “An account of the Arctic regions, with a history and description of the northern whale-fishery”

7. “Cavern at Thompson’s point” illustration in Robert Seale’s 1834 “The geognosy of the Island of St. Helena, illustrated in a series of views, plans and sections; accompanied with explanatory remarks and observations”

8. Illustration from Louis Claude Desaulses de Freycinet, “Voyage aautour du monde entrepris par ordre du Roi, exécuté sur les corvettes de S.M. l’Oranie et la Physicienne pendant les années 1817, 1818, 1819 et 1820″

Find all of the Charles Darwin Beagle library at Darwin Online

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