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About the book
  • Published: 21 January 2009
  • ISBN: 9781742285375
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 416
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Darwin's Armada


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How Four Voyages to Australasia Won the Battle for Evolution and Changed the World

Charles Darwin, HMS Beagle, 1831-36 Sent to Cambridge to join the clergy, the young Darwin emerged with a passion for naturalism and an invitation to sail on a naval survey vessel to South America, New Zealand and Australia.  That journey would change his life, and the course of modern science.

Joseph Hooker, HMS Erebus, 1839-43 Inspired by Darwin's Voyage of the Beagle, assistant-surgeon Hooker undertook his own dramatic voyage of exploration, from the Cook Islands to the Antarctic via the high society of Hobart.  His botanical research added critical evidence to Darwin's developing ideas on evolution, and he became Darwin's closest ally.

Thomas Huxley, HMS Rattlesnake, 1846-50 'Darwin's Bulldog' would become evolution's most effective champion against the clergy (coining the term agnostic').  As a brilliant, ascerbic young man, Huxley was determined to make his name through discoveries in marine biology in the Southern Hemisphere – but his most improbable discovery was that in Sydney he fell in love.

Alfred Wallace, the Amazon and South-East Asia, 1848-66 The least celebrated but perhaps the most brilliant of the four.  During his many years in remote jungles as a professional specimen collector, the largely self-educated Wallace arrived independently at a theory of evolution by natural selection.  He sent his idea to Darwin, precipitating a dramatic moral crisis and the writing of On the Origin of Species.
Darwin's Armanda is both a gripping adventure story and a brilliantly enlightening work of history, for the first time portraying the Darwinian revolution as a collective enterprise forged in Australasia.  These four remarkable men did what one alone could not – combed the world for evidence of evolution by natural selection, and then fought tirelessly in the social and intellectual battle that followed its famous publication 150 years ago.

Together they changed the world.

  • Pub date: 21 January 2009
  • ISBN: 9781742285375
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 416

About the Author

Iain McCalman

Iain McCalman was born in Nyasaland, Africa in 1947 and now lives in Sydney, where he is research professor at the University of Sydney. He has held numerous visiting research fellowships in Britain and the United States, including at All Souls, Oxford, and most recently at the Californian University of Technology, Pasadena. In 1994 he was awarded the inaugural Vice-Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence at the Australian National University, and in 2007 he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for services to history and the humanities. His previous books include The Seven Ordeals of Count Cagliostro, which has been translated into twelve languages, and he has been a historical consultant and narrator for a number of documentaries and films.

www.the-reef.com.au

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