CHARLES DARWIN YEAR, Part 1. A Memorial Calendar
December 27, 1831. The HMS Beagle, captained by Fitzroy, set sail from England for a 5-year natural-history voyage around the world. It was a 10-gun brig, 100 feet (30 metres) long. Darwin shared a small cabin in the poop with two other men.
January 7, 1860. Publication of the second edition of “On the Origin of Species”. 3000 copies were printed.
January 12, 1836. HMS Beagle arrived in Sydney, Australia.
January 16, 1836. Charles Darwin left for Bathurst, about a hundred miles west of Sydney. He commented that the lack of kangaroos indicated how European settlement had interfered with wildlife.
January 24, 1839. Darwin elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society.
January, 29, 1839. In Maer, Staffordshire, Charles Darwin married Emma Wedgwood, granddaughter of the founder of the Wedgwood China firm
February 6, 1796. Birth of John Stevens Henslow (died 1861), who was Darwin’s natural-history tutor at Cambridge University. It was he who recommended Darwin as a suitable companion for Captain Fitzroy on Beagle.
February 10, 1869. Publication of the fifth edition of “On the Origin of Species”. For the first time Herbert Spencer’s phrase, “survival of the fittest”, was introduced.
February 12, 1809. Birth of Charles Darwin at The Mount, Shrewsbury in Shropshire.
February 19, 1872. Publication of the sixth edition of Darwin’s great book. Its name was changed to “Origin of Species”. For the first time the word “evolution” was used.
February 28, 1832. Charles Darwin set foot on the continent of South America. The beauty of nature there led him to speak of it as a “chaos of delight”.
March 7, 1837. Charles Darwin left Cambridge to live in Great Marlborough Street, London. There, he wrote “… I gradually came to disbelieve in Christianity as a divine revelation”.
March 9, 1869. Publication of Alfred Russel Wallace’s book “The Malay Archipelago”. The book chronicles his travels and scientific explorations. It was dedicated to Charles Darwin.
March 20, 1835. On climbing the Andes at Valparaiso, Charles Darwin found petrified trees similar to those at sea level. He recorded how he was certain that the mountains rose “slowly and by little starts”.
March 25, 1861. Publication of the third edition of “On the Origin of Species”. Added is a historical introduction listing the precursors of evolutionary thinking.
(to be continued).