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Odyssey : Young Charles Darwin, The Beagle, and The Voyage that Changed the World, EPUB eBook

Odyssey : Young Charles Darwin, The Beagle, and The Voyage that Changed the World EPUB


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An illuminating and lively narrative of Charles Darwin's formative years and adventurous voyage aboard the H.M.S. Beagle.

Winner of the Georgia Author of the Year Award for Biography/Memoir

Charles Darwinalongside Isaac Newton and Albert Einsteinranks among the worlds most famous scientists. In popular imagination, he peers at us from behind a bushy white Old Testament beard. This image of Darwin the Sage, however, crowds out the vital younger man whose curiosities, risk-taking, and travels aboard HMS Beagle would shape his later theories and served as the foundation of his scientific breakthroughs.
Though storied, the Beagles voyage is frequently misunderstood, its mission and geographical breadth unacknowledged. The voyages activities associated with South Americaparticularly its stop in the Galapagos archipelago, off Ecuador's coasteclipse the fact that the Beagle, sailing in Atlantic, Pacific and Indian ocean waters, also circumnavigated the globe.
Mere happenstance placed Darwin aboard the Beaglean invitation to sail as a conversation companion on natural-history topics for the ships depression-prone captain. Darwin was only twenty-two years old, an unproven, unknown, aspiring geologist when the ship embarked on what stretched into its five-year voyage. Moreover, conducting marine surveys of distance ports and coasts, the Beagles purposes were only inadvertently scientific. And with no formal shipboard duties or rank, Darwin, after arranging to meet the Beagle at another port, often left the ship to conduct overland excursions.

Those outings, lasting weeks, even months, took him across mountains, pampas, rainforests, and deserts. An expert horseman and marksman, he won the admiration of gauchos he encountered along the way. Yet another rarely acknowledged aspect of Darwins Beagle travels, he also visited, often lingered in, citiesincluding Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Santiago, Lima, Sydney, and Cape Town; and left colorful, often sharply opinionated, descriptions of them and his interactions with their residents. In the end, Darwin spent three-fifths of his five-year voyage on landthree years and three months on terra firma versus a total 533 days on water.
Acclaimed historian Tom Chaffin reveals young Darwin in all his complexitiesthe brashness that came from his privileged background, the Faustian bargain he made with Argentinas notorious caudillo Juan Manuel de Rosas, his abhorrence of slavery, and his ambition to carve himself a place amongst his eras celebrated travelers and intellectual giants. Drawing on a rich array of sources in a telling of an epic story that surpasses in breadth and intimacy the naturalists own Voyage of the BeagleChaffin brings Darwins odyssey to vivid life.