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Darwin's Armada: Four Voyages and the Battle for the Theory of Evolution
 
 
Author
Iain McCalman.
Publisher Norton  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.5 x 6.3 x 1.4 inches
ISBN 9780393068146
Pages/Publication Date 423/2009
Daedalus Item Code 21116
This item is not available.
Description
Australian historian Iain McCalman offers this group portrait of four amateur naturalists—Charles Darwin, Joseph Hooker, Thomas Huxley, and Alfred Wallace—who voyaged separately from Britain to the southern hemisphere in search of adventure and scientific fame. From Darwin's inaugural trip on the Beagle in 1835 through Wallace's exploits in the Amazon and then Malaysia in the 1840s and 50s, each man independently made discoveries that led him to embrace and passionately advance Darwin's theory of evolution.

"This geographically expansive account of the rise of evolutionary theory traces the lives and travels of four titans of 19th-century biology: [Charles] Darwin, the botanist Joseph Hooker, the physiologist Thomas Huxley, and Alfred Russel Wallace, a fearless globetrotter whose dangerous and often unpleasant journeys in the Amazon and the Malay Archipelago were the source of biological epiphanies and tens of thousands of specimens.... [Iain] McCalman's central conceit—that the four naturalists, who all traveled at length in the Southern Hemisphere, share 'a special bond of the "salt"'—supplies a fresh, antipodean perspective. McCalman evokes the physical hardships and social intricacies navigated by his heroes—flammable ships, uncooperative captains, and, on Antarctica, 'legions' of penguins so dense they could be breached only by 'kicking them to right and left'—and also the feel of an era when 'adventure and science went hand in hand'."—The New Yorker

 
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