Darwin's Armadatells the stories of Charles Darwin, Thomas Huxley, Joseph Hooker and Alfred Wallace, four young amateur naturalists from Britain who voyaged to the southern hemisphere during the first half of the nineteenth century in search of adventure and scientific fame. It charts their thrilling voyages to the strange and beautiful lands of the southern hemisphere that reshaped the young mariners' scientific ideas and led them, on returning to Britain, to befriend fellow voyager Charles Darwin. All three crucially influenced the publication and reception of his Origin of Speciesin 1859, one of the formative texts of the modern world.
For the first time the Darwinian revolution of ideas is seen as a genuinely collective enterprise and one that had its birth in a series of gripping and human travel adventures. Many of the most urgent ecological and social issues of our times are seen to be prefigured in this compelling story of intellectual discovery.
Iain McCalman is currently Professor and Director of the Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University, and Deputy Director of the Australian Research Council's Centre for Cross-Cultural Reasearch. His books include The Seven Ordeals of Count Cagliostro and The Last Alchemist: Count Cagliostro, Master of Magic in the Age of Reason.