London,John Murray 1860
Octavo, 12.o x 19.8cm, fine original blind stamped green cloth by Edmonds & Remnants, London with their printed label, spine lettered gilt, pp.xv + (1) + 519 + 32 adverts dated December 1861, with the Postscript on p.vii, woodcuts of a lizard on p.385, outline of the Barrier Reef on p.471 and reef on p.473, a fine copy.
First published separately in 1839 from vol III of Fitzroy’s Narrative of the voages of H.M. Ships Adventure and Beagle. This 1860 printing is the final definitive text. Charles Darwin’s “first published book is undoubtedly the most often read and stands second only to On the Origin of Species as the most often printed. It is an important travel book in its own right and its relation to the background of his evolutionary ideas has often been stressed" (Freeman).
Darwin noted in his autobiography that "the voyage of the Beagle has been by far the most important event in my life and has determined my whole career. As far as I can judge of myself I worked to the utmost during the voyage from the mere pleasure of investigation, and from my strong desire to add a few facts to the great mass of facts in natural science. But I was also ambitious to take a fair place among scientific men The success of this my first literary child always tickles my vanity more than that of any other books."