The Voyage of the Beagle, by Charles Darwin

Prefatory Notice to the Illustrated Edition.

This work was described, on its first appearance, by a writer in the Quarterly Review as “One of the most interesting narratives of voyaging that it has fallen to our lot to take up, and one which must always occupy a distinguished place in the history of scientific navigation.

This prophecy has been amply verified by experience; the extraordinary minuteness and accuracy of Mr. Darwin’s observations, combined with the charm and simplicity of his descriptions, have ensured the popularity of this book with all classes of readers — and that popularity has even increased in recent years. No attempt, however, has hitherto been made to produce an illustrated edition of this valuable work: numberless places and objects are mentioned and described, but the difficulty of obtaining authentic and original representations of them drawn for the purpose has never been overcome until now.

Most of the views given in this work are from sketches made on the spot by Mr. Pritchett, with Mr. Darwin’s book by his side. Some few of the others are taken from engravings which Mr. Darwin had himself selected for their interest as illustrating his voyage, and which have been kindly lent by his son.

Mr. Pritchett’s name is well known in connection with the voyages of the Sunbeam and Wanderer, and it is believed that the illustrations, which have been chosen and verified with the utmost care and pains, will greatly add to the value and interest of the ”Voyage of a Naturalist.”

JOHN MURRAY.

December 1889.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/d/darwin/charles/beagle/preface1.html

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