Charles Darwin

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Charles Darwin

The famous naturalist Charles Darwin embarked on hundreds of miles of land excursions during the often-told story of the H. M. S. Beagle voyage, and on these trips, the most lasting visual impressions for Darwin are the Cordilleras Mountains, the Fuegian natives, and the Brazilian rainforests. The Beagle’s five-year world circumnavigation from 1831 to 1836 emphasized South America and so it is not so surprising the previously mentioned natural wonders had such important impact on Darwin. Somewhat unexpected, though, is the desolate Patagonia plains of Argentina which made an especially lasting impression on Darwin. While certainly not the only important lasting natural impressions for Darwin from the voyage, the natural wonders mentioned previously are quite note worthy because they show up so prominently in a careful reading of Darwin’s writing.

Much has been written about the 19th century Beagle voyage and its scientific developments, but instead the emphasis for this research paper will be a selection of Charles Darwin’s most striking land journeys. This assignment will describe and evaluate the dimensions of the ‘gentleman naturalist’s’ most impressive visual memories resulting from excursions into Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. In doing so, this paper will heavily rely on two sources: The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin and what is popularly known as Darwin’s Beagle Diary. Both of these texts are available on the World Wide Web.

Before turning to the content of the previously mentioned sources, some additional background is in order. The Beagle voyages’ main mission was to acquire a set of longitudinal measurements in a circumnavigation of the globe. In additi...

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...[13] Ibid., 534. Unknown indirect source. Referred in Journal of Researches as: Shelley, Lines on M. Blanc. I was unable to found a bibliographic reference.

[14] Ibid., 534.


Darwin, C. Journal of Researches into the Natural History and Geology of the countries

visited during the voyage round the world of H.M.S. Beagle. 11th ed., London: John

Murray, 1913. Quoted from Web Site – Van Wyhe, John ed., “The writings of

Charles Darwin on the web,” 8 October 2003.

<> (29 December 2003).

Darwin, F. ed., The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin. New York: D. Appleton &

& Co., 1905. Quoted from Web Site – Van Wyhe, John ed., “The writings of

Charles Darwin on the Web,” 8 October 2003.

<> (29 December 2003).

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