This book is both a fascinating account of one of the events that changed the world, and fine art. The work is lavishly illustrated with art, photographs, sketches, maps, facsimile extracts of newspapers and advertisements.
NAME: The Voyage of the Beagle
CLASSIFICATION: Book Reviews
AUTHOR: James Taylor
PUBLISHER: Anova, Conway
BINDING: Hard back
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Origin of the Species, Charles Dar-
win, HMS Beagle, evolutionist theory, sur-
veys, Nineteenth Century
This book is both a fascinating account of one of the events that changed the world, and fine art. The publisher has produced a handsome volume with printed linen covers and high quality paper. The work is lavishly illustrated with art, photographs, sketches, maps, facsimile extracts of newspapers and advertisements. The production standard is very high and the quality of illustration is to be expected of this publisher and of an author who was an auctioneer with Phillips Fine Art Auctioneers, Head of Victorian Paintings and a former curator of art. James Taylor has collected together for the first time all the threads of the story of Charles Darwin and the Voyage of HMS Beagle that was to change our view of the world. The text is readable and engaging, enriched by first-hand commentary from personal letters and diaries. Taylor explains how the voyage came about, how Darwin came to be aboard and how the result was significant for history and our contemporary view of life and our environment. At the time of Beagle’s departure, it was just another voyage of circumnavigation to survey the still largely unknown islands of the South Seas and to add to the Admiralty’s knowledge of the oceans and coastal margins. What Darwin observed caused him to challenge the established creationist theories, producing an argument that life has evolved over millennia and that all creatures are ultimately related. When he returned and presented his new theory, he was condemned by the Church and the scientific community. By his death he was recognized as a scientist who had contributed hugely to human knowledge and started fundamental changes in the way we view our environment. Even today, his theory causes some conflict although it does not completely defeat a creationist theory because Darwin never found an explanation of how life first began, only how it developed after the emergence of the first forms of life. In addition to telling a powerful story well, this book captures the richness of these survey voyages by reproducing the art that was created by those who were present to record the imagery of the voyage at a time when the camera was not available. Considering the quality of production and the cost of publishing new books, this book is not only intellectually valuable, but represents extremely good value for money at its recommended price and some resellers will further discount to produce a very affordable volume.