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Darwin's Armada

by Iain McCalman
New York: W. W. Norton, 2009. 423 pages.

Subtitled Four Voyages and the Battle for the Theory of Evolution, McCalman’s book describes the nineteenth-century ocean journeys of Charles Darwin, Joseph Hooker, Thomas Henry Huxley, and Alfred Russel Wallace, and explains their importance and relevance to the nascent science of evolution. According to the New York Times Book Review, “[McCalman’s] narratives are as much bildungsroman as scientific analysis, showing how the four voyagers were steeled and transformed by the demands of the sea and the wondrous unfamiliarity of life on distant shores.” McCalman is a professor in the Department of History at the University of Sydney.