Books: How the Beagle Sank the Ark

DARWIN AND THE BEAGLE by Alan Moorehead. Illustrated. 280 pages. Harper & Row. $15.

Any pleasant Sunday afternoon aboard H.M.S. Beagle, outward bound from Plymouth in 1831 on a scientific voyage around the world, Robert FitzRoy, her captain, would entertain his officers with readings from the Bible. A painting of such an event is one of the illustrations in Alan Moorehead's book. Depicted as a drab civilian among the scarlet naval persons present, the ship's naturalist, Charles Darwin, also clutches a Bible. The Beagle's Bibles contained an annotation dictated by the...

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