RECORD: Anon. 1890. [Review of Journal of researches]. Boston Evening Transcript (14 May): 6. 

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

[page] 6


A new edition of Darwin's great work, "Journal of Researches into the Natural History and Geology or the Countries Visited During the Voyage Round the World on H. M. S. Beagle, under the command of Captain Fitz Roy, R. N." This famous voyage was undertaken under the auspices of the English government, for the purpose of completing the survey of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, to survey the shores of Chili, Peru and certain of the Pacific Islands, and to carry a chain of chronometrical measurements round the world. Darwin was, at the time of the sailing of the Beagle, a young and enthusiastic student of zoology, and the expedition lacking an expert in that line of science, he volunteered his services.

Leaving England in December, 1831, the Beagle sailed for the Cape de Verde group, casting anchor for the first time after leaving port, in the harbor of Porto Praya. From there the course taken was to Bahia, and along the coast to Rio Janeiro, Montevideo, down to and around Tierra del Fuego through the Straits of Magellan, up the Pacific coast as far as Lima, and then back to England.

The entire voyage occupied five years and the record of its results by the young naturalist was hailed with the warmest welcome by European scientists. It lacked one thing, however, to make it perfect, and that was illustrations. Photography had not been discovered or invented, and there was no competent draughtsman on board. Even the extraordinary minuteness and accuracy of Mr. Darwin's description could not always fully convey the idea intended. Until now no attempt has been made to produce an illustrated edition of this valuable work. Numberless places and objects are mentions and described, but the difficulty of obtaining authentic and original representations has seemed so great that the publishers have always hesitated to undertake the task. It has finally been accomplished, however. Mr. R. T. Pritchett, who illustrated the voyages of the Sunbeam and the Wanderer, went over the entire grand course by Mr. Darwin, with the book in his hand, and has thoroughly illustrated it. To his drawings have been added engravings selected by Mr. Darwin himself for their special interest. With these accompaniments to the text, the work, in spite of its scientific technicalities, will have, even for the ordinary reader, all the fascination of a romance.

["A Naturalist's Voyage Round the World." By Charles Darwin. New York: D. Appleton and Company.]


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