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Monday, 15 April 2019

CHARLES DARWIN CROSSES THE BLUE MOUNTAINS IN 1836


Painting by G Richmond
CHARLES DARWIN CROSSES THE BLUE MOUNTAINS IN 1836

Today when we hear or read about “The Voyage of the Beagle” we immediately think of the young Charles Darwin gathering material for his research into the theory of evolution. While it’s true that he made use of a lot of the information and specimens he collected on that voyage, the story of the Beagle, or at least Darwin’s part in it, is that of a young naturalist being given the opportunity to explore a world full of undiscovered and unexplained wonders.
The “Beagle” was on a world trip of scientific exploration (1831-36). In January 1836 the ship arrived in Sydney and Darwin (along with several others) made his only inland journey in Australia, across the Blue Mountains to Bathurst. Read his account in the pages below.


Reproduction of frontispiece by RT Pritchett from the first Murray illustrated edition, 1890. “HMS Beagle in the Straits of Magellan at Monte Sarmiento".  

The Voyage of the Beagle
 is the title most commonly given to the book written by Charles Darwin and published in 1839 as his Journal and Remarks, bringing him considerable fame and respect. This was the third volume of “The Narrative of the Voyages of H.M. Ships Adventure and Beagle”, the other volumes of which were written or edited by the commanders of the ships. Journal and Remarks covers Darwin's part in the second survey expedition of the ship HMS Beagle. Due to the popularity of Darwin's account, the publisher reissued it later in 1839 as Darwin's Journal of Researches, and the revised second edition published in 1845 used this title. A republication of the book in 1905 introduced the title The Voyage of the "Beagle", by which it is now best known.

The pages below are from an 1845 printing, located by searching “Trove”.





One final word. The point where the Mudgee track left the Bathurst road is quite close to where I live. Mudgee St is still there. The map dates from 1842.

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