DARWIN, Charles Robert (1809-1882) and other contributors. 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. Edited by Captain Robert Fitzroy. London: Henry Colburn, 1839.
3 volumes in 4 including the Appendix to volume II, 4 (234 x 146mm). 48 plates, the majority etched, 8 folding engraved charts in front pockets. (Occasional small areas of light browning or spotting to plates and charts.) UNCUT IN ORIGINAL BLUE CLOTH, sides and spines panelled in blind, spines gilt-lettered (front inner hinges of vols. I-II slightly split, the pocket in vol. I torn along one side, spine of vol. III faded and a little rubbed at extremities.) Each of the four volumes contained in a morocco-backed green cloth box with inner cloth chemise, the backs with raised bands and spine compartments ruled and lettered in gilt. Provenance: Sir George Nugent, first baronet (1757-1849); James F. Drake (New York bookseller, loosely-inserted catalogue description).
AN ADMIRABLE COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION. Volume I comprises Proceedings of the First Expedition, 1826-1830, under the command of Captain P. Parker King and Volume II Proceedings of the Second Expedition, 1831-1836, under the Command of Captain Robert Fitzroy. As is well known, the third volume with the subsidiary title Journal and Remarks 1832-1836 forms THE FIRST ISSUE OF DARWIN'S FIRST BOOK. When issued separately in the same year, this bore the title Journal of Researches into the Geology and Natural History of the various countries visited by H.M.S. Beagle. Today Darwin's work is universally referred to as The Voyage of the Beagle, Freeman describing it as 'the most often read' of all his books and one that 'stands second only to On the Origin of Species as the most often printed. It is an important travel book in its own right and its relation to the background of his evolutionary ideas has often been stressed.' While it is natural that the Darwin volume should have proved more popular and enduring than the others in the Narrative, the broader political and economic intentions of the voyage on which he was, in fact, only a supernumary are also of considerable interest. George Basalla stressed the importance of the latter in 'The voyage of the Beagle without Darwin', Mariner's Mirror, vol. 49, pp. 42-48, 1963. Freeman 10; Sabin 37826. (4)