RECORD: Anon. 1879. [Review of Journal of researches]. [What Mr. Darwin saw]. Literary World 10 (25 October): 342-343.

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Christine Chua and edited by John van Wyhe 10.2022. RN1


[page] 342

What Mr. Darwin Saw in his Voyage Around the World in the Ship "Beagle." Illus. [Harper &Brothers. $3.00.] It is no new voyage of Mr. Darwin's whose observations are recorded in this volume; but an old one, the great naturalist's first, taken more than forty years ago. Out from the original narrative of that, written by Mr. Darwin, the compiler of the present work has selected amass of short, picturesque extracts; rearranging them in such order as to give several series of consecutive paragraphs under the general heads of "Ani

[page] 343

mals," "Man," "Geography." and "Nature." Few liberties have been taken with the text: only such as might be necessary to perfect the joints, or to remove such hard words as would be a stumbling-block to children. The patchwork thus curiously contrived has been plentifully sprinkled over with pictures drawn from a variety of sources — one of them a quaint old cut by the famous Thomas Bewick; and a number of excellent out line maps are inserted first and last, showing the route followed by Mr. Darwin, and the general topography of countries visited. A few pages at the end are also occupied with an alphabetical series of brief biographies of noted naturalist-travelers and explorers. The book is, in a word, an attempt to utilize material gathered by an authoritative observer, for the instruction of children, concerning the world and its population; the instruction being conveyed by means of graphic and interesting descriptions of actual scenes and objects, with the aid of copious illustration. It might be called a systematic picture-book of natural science; only the publishers have given it so sumptuous a dress that it wears almost the aspect of a fine-art work. The gradation of its contents, beginning with animals, and leading up to the more complex processes of nature, adapts it, in the compiler's judgment and intention, for progressive use in the household; and we should think that, especially as a book to be read aloud by a mother to her children, it might answer its purpose very well.

 


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Citation: John van Wyhe, ed. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (http://darwin-online.org.uk/)

File last updated 10 November, 2022