Charles Darwin adored the tiny, mahogany-rich ship that carried him around the world and made his name, writes Sara Wheeler
Two hundred years ago this May, a new 235-ton brig slipped into the Thames at London’s Woolwich Dockyard. She was a petite 90 feet, a gun sloop of the Royal Navy Cherokee class, a common type of warship. But HMS Beagle was to become one of the most famous ships of all time. Charles Darwin sailed in her on his epic five-year voyage round the world. When he returned, he published On The Origin of Species, a book that rocked Victorian England and changed natural science for ever....
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