Review by Tom Siegfried
Charles Darwin was a prolific letter writer — not unusual in his day, of course, before telephones, e-mail and Facebook. A little less usual is the degree to which his correspondence has been preserved, and so widely read.
Darwin died in 1882, and collecting and assessing Darwinabilia has been a passion for historians of both science and culture ever since. The bicentennial of Darwin’s birth has inspired renewed attention and new collections — in this case, a thorough catalog of the letters written by and to Darwin shortly before and during his famous voyage on the HMS Beagle, a ship that circumnavigated the globe during the period 1831–1836.
These pages offer much science, from descriptions of South American geology to accounts of Galápagos faun