Book review: ‘Evolution's Captain: The Tragic Fate of Robert FitzRoy, the Man Who Sailed Charles Darwin Around the World’ by Peter Nichols

Biography of the captain of HMS Beagle.

Evolution's CaptainThis is a very readable account of the life and death of Robert FitzRoy.

Anyone who has read any of the dozens of biographies about Charles Darwin will already be familiar with much of FitzRoy's story, although this book fills in some gaps. In this respect, the account of the first voyage of HMS Beagle (Darwin went on the second voyage) is particularly interesting. I would, however, have liked to have read more about FitzRoy's later life—particularly his work at the Meteorological Office and his governorship of New Zealand.

Nichols is an experienced sailor, so his accounts of Beagle's two voyages are written with considerable authority.

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Writer and photographer Richard Carter, FCD is the founder of the Friends of Charles Darwin. He lives in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.WebsiteFacebookTwitterNewsletterBooks
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