The Voyage of the Beagle

p. xv-xvi, Introduction: During this eventual circumnavigation of the globe, most of the time was spent first on the east, and secondarily on the west coasts of South America. With Darwin signed on as the captain’s companion, the vessel’s senior surgeon, Robert McCormick, was its naturalist. However, after only four months at sea, McCormick returned to England, because it was obvious that Darwin, nicked named “Philos,” short for “Ship’s Philosopher,” was FitzRoy’s preferred naturalist. Darwin brought with him the works of Shakespeare and Milton (taking Paradise Lost with him on his land excursions), and, more importantly, numerous scientific texts, including Charles Lyell’s Principles of Geology. (As subsequent volumes were published, Darwin had them sent from England). The tiny cabin FitzRoy and Darwin shared contained a library of some 245 volumes. Even though Darwin missed England, he was not cut off from it; newspapers and journals arrived regularly, and as much as possible, letters from home.