Charles Darwin's voyage on the Beagle (179 words)

Historical Context Note

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In his Autobiography, Charles Darwin later viewed his five-year voyage on the Beagle as having 'determined [his] whole career'. During the journey round the world, he gathered observations and specimens that contributed to his eventual formulation of the theory of evolution by natural selection. His position on the ship was not as a commissioned collector or naturalist, but in part as an educated companion to the captain, Robert FitzRoy. In Cape Verde, off West Africa, seashells in the rocks of the cliffs persuaded him of the veracity of Charles Lyell's new book proposing that gradual 'uniformitarian' processes of geological rise and fall took place over vast periods of time. Slight but noticeable variations between …

Editors. "Charles Darwin's voyage on the Beagle ". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 August 2013
[, accessed 26 October 2016.]

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  1. Victorian Scientific Thought and Applications