DARWIN, Charles (1809-1882), Capt. Robert FITZROY (1805-1865), and Capt. Philip Parker KING (1793-1856). Narrative of the Surveying Voyages of His Majesty's Ships Adventure and Beagle, between the Years 1826 and 1836, describing their Examination of the Southern Shores of South America, and the Beagle's Circumnavigation of the Globe. London: Henry Colburn, 1839.
3 volumes in 4 (vols. I-III and Appendix to vol. II), 8o (235 x 146 mm). 9 folding engraved maps (8 loose in cover pockets, one bound in) by J. Gardner and J. and C. Walker; 47 etched plates after P.P. King, A. Earle, C. Martens, R. Fitzroy and others by T. Landseer, S. Bull, T.A. Prior and others. (Some faint offsetting to a few maps, some minor foxing to plates, faint offsetting to a few maps.) Original blue cloth (Freeman variant a), covers blindstamped, gilt-lettered on spine (volume I partially split along rear hinge, volume II with two repaired tears at head of spine, spines lightly faded).
FIRST EDITION OF DARWIN'S FIRST PUBLISHED BOOK, with the First Issue of vol. III. The first volume contains King's account of the expedition in the Adventure made between 1826 and 1830, which surveyed the coasts of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego. The second volume (and its appendix volume) describes the narrative of the Beagle's second voyage under Capt. Fitzroy made between 1831 and 1836 to South America, the Galapagos Islands, Tahiti, New Zealand, Australia, and other islands and countries.
"The five years of the voyage were the most important event in Darwin's intellectual life and in the history of biological science. Darwin sailed with no formal scientific training. He returned a hard-headed man of science, knowing the importance of evidence, almost convinced that species had not always been as they were since the creation but had undergone change ... The experiences of his five years ... and what they led to, built up into a process of epoch-making importance in the history of thought" (DSB). Freeman 10; Hill I, pp.104-05; NMM 163-5; Norman 584; Sabin 37826. (4)