RECORD: Anon. 1880. [Review of Journal of researches]. [What Mr. Darwin saw]. The Index (Boston, Mass.), n.s., 1, no. 26 (23 December): 305.

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

[page] 305


This book, as we happen to know, was not so much made as it was developed by the necessities of a household where children were growing up with active and inquiring minds. It seemed best to the father that his children should go to head-quarters for their knowledge of natural history and related topics; and so, with the consent of Mr. Darwin, he made a volume of excerpts from the Voyage of the Ship Beagle, a book which many find the most interesting that Mr. Darwin has yet written.

Since its completion, he has warmly approved of the execution of the present work. And well he may; for the work which love inspired and wisdom guided has been admirably done. The material is classified, and the contents of the book are such that the older members of a family will find it equally profitable for themselves and for the younger members of the household. Indeed, some portions of the book are beyond the comprehension of children of average intelligence. We cannot recommend this book too warmly to those in search of books for their children that shall at the same time interest and instruct, especially when so many books are written that deliberately misrepresent the facts of natural history and the relations of natural phenomena, which are vastly more wonderful than any lies that Jules Verne and his imitators can tell us. The book abounds in excellent illustrations; and a superb wood-cut portrait of Mr. Darwin shows a face which compares very favorably with Thomas Carlyle's, to say the least. The comparison is justified by Carlyle's contemptible slur on Mr. Darwin's personal appearance.


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Citation: John van Wyhe, ed. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (

File last updated 10 November, 2022