Charles Darwin's

Journal of Researches
Voyage of H. M. S. Beagle
Comparison of Selected Editions

John Woram

The following table summarizes a few Title and Preface details about the cited print editions of the work, plus the Project Gutenberg eText edition which was used in the preparation of the Voyage … text on this website. A link in the “Edition” column displays the text for that edition. The Table is followed by a few more details about each edition.

Date †Edition#TitlePreface Concludes with
1838(See 1838 edition, below)
1839vol. III of Narrrative …4/10.3Journal and Remarks …C. D.
1839first5/11Journal of Researches …
1845second7/13June, 1845
1860Tenth Thousand10/20Down, Bromley, Kent
, 1845
1879Fourteenth Thousand15/34A Naturalist's Voyage.
Journal of Researches …
(not yet seen)

New Edition
first illustrated edition
same, American edition
Journal of Researches …Down, Bromley, Kent
, 1845
1890Nelson and Sons edition34/63(no place, initials, date)
1901New Edition with Illustrations55/97June 1845.
1905(new title)59/106The Voyage of the “Beagle”(preface omitted)
1909Harvard Classics–/119(same as 1860, 1890)
1997Project Gutenberg(same, but dated June 9, 1845)
† Each date is a link to the section discussing that edition.
# Numbers, if given in 1965/1977 editions of Darwin bibliographer R. B. Freeman's Annotated Bibliographical Handlist.
Summary of Spine & Cover details, Preliminary pages: 1839-1905 Editions


Falkner: Darwin misspells the name of Thomas Falkner, S. J. as Falconer—an error not corrected in any edition listed here. Although Darwin provides a page number for only one of these citations in a footnote, links are provided here (in the 1905 Voyage of the Beagle text) for all five of his citations. Darwin does spell the name correctly in his notebooks (see Darwin Online website), as do King and FitzRoy in their volumes, so it is unclear how the misspelling escaped the notice of both Darwin and his editors. §

§ King does however spell it Falconer in his 1831 Some Observations ….

Freeman: R. B. (Richard Broke) Freeman (1915-1986).

Illustrations: Illustrations in most of the above editions may be displayed sequentially in a pop-up window. The 1890 and 1901 editions include additonal illustrations listed below.

Frontispieces: Display the Frontispieces in seven of the editions described below. This link is also provided in the Preliminary Pages section below.

Footnotes: Footnotes in all printed editions are found at the bottom of the appropriate page. On this online page, each footnote appears immediately below the paragraph in which it is cited. Footnote symbols are:

*,  †,  ‡, or 1.,  2.  … : Footnotes from original printed editions,
§,  §§,  ^: New footnotes, appearing only in these online editions.

1838 (1839?) Edition

According to Freeman (para. 4), Darwin's Journal and Remarks was printed in 1838, in advance of the King/FitzRoy/Darwin 1839 editions described below:

“The manuscript of the main text was finished by June 1837, and it, with the index, was in print early in 1838.”

Freeman states that it lacked the Preface and Addenda of the 1839 edition, but he does not indicate if it had its own Preface. Nor does he give a title. The work does not appear on the Darwin Online website, there is no other known account of it, and in fact Freeman himself does not include it in his own “List of English Editions.”

In a November 4, 1837 letter to Henslow, Darwin wrote that:

“… a good many errata are left in the part of my volume, which is printed. … [and] … I sat the other evening gazing in silent admiration at the first page of my own volume, when I received it from the printers!” [emphasis added]

And later on, in an April 1, 1838 letter to his sister Susan, he wrote of FitzRoy that:

“He is working very hard at his book, which I suppose will really be out in June. I looked over a few pages of Captain King's Journal … .”

In context, it would appear that in 1837-38 Darwin only saw printed portions, first of his own work, and later of King et al. Perhaps Freeman meant that although parts of two Narrative volumes were printed prior to 1839, these were put aside until FitzRoy eventually completed his own volume, and the three-volume (plus Appendix) edition was published.

1839 Editions

For the 1839 King/FitzRoy/Darwin Narrative of the Surveying Voyages of His Majesty's Ships Adventure and Beagle … volumes, Darwin added a Preface and inserted a seven-page Addenda immediately before the Index—both the Addenda and the Index are paginated pp. 609-615, and his volume is titled Journal and Remarks. In the same year, it was published separately as Journal of Researches … . Although the latter title is usually thought to have been published after the Narrative set, Freeman states (without explanation) that it “…was issued at the same time as the set.”

But there is at least one clue that it may have been published later on; J. Gardner's “General Chart shewing the Principle Tracks of H. M. S. Beagle       1831-6” appears in the Appendix to Volume II of the Narrative, and again in Darwin's Journal of Researches. This suggests it may have been added when Darwin's Journal and Remarks was re-titled and re-published later in the year, in response to its popularity. The evidence however, is inconclusive.

The following table lists some Frontispiece/Map details for all volumes published in 1839.

Volume, Title,
I: Proceedings of First Expedition
King et al
II: … of Second Expedition
Appendix to Vol. II
FitzRoy, Others
III: Journal and Remarks
Journal of Researches …
MapsSouth America
(J. Arrowsmith)
Part of Tierra del Fuego
(J. & C. Walker)
Tracks, HMS Beagle
(J. Gardner)
Southern Portion, South America
(J. Dower)
Strait of Magalhaens
(J. Gardner)
(J. & C. Walker)
Low Islands
(J. & C. Walker)
Keeling Islands
(J. & C. Walker)
Part of South America
(J. Gardner)
 Tracks, HMS Beagle
(J. Gardner)
1966: AMS Press Reprint1952: Hafner Reprint
S. Portion, S. America (J. Dower)(same as Vol. II, above)(same as
Appendix, above)
(none; maps omitted without explanation)
Strait of Magalhaens (J. Gardner)

Notes: For general interest, the above table lists details for all the 1839 Narrative volumes, including those not written by Darwin. Reprints of these works, and also of Darwin's Journal of Researches, are also included.

The Hafner Publishing Company's 1952 reprint of the 1839 Journal of Researches inserted a “… diagramatic drawing (frontispiece), of the Beagle, made by Captain [Philip Gidley] King when he was about eighty” (not listed above). Actually, King served as Midshipman, first on his father's HMS Adventure and later on FitzRoy's HMS Beagle. When the Beagle reached Australia (February, 1836) he left the Royal Navy and joined his parents who lived there. Thus, he never acheived the rank of Captain.

1845 Edition

In a 31 May, 1845 letter to John Murray (his new publisher), Darwin writes that he will send the first part of the manuscript “… by our weekly carrier on Thurday morning.” That would be June 4, and on June 6 in another letter to Murray, he writes that “I sent the M.S. to you yesterday (June 5th? Or perhaps a minor dating error). In his 27 August letter to Murray, Darwin reports that he has completed the manuscript, and in a 29 August letter to J. D. Hooker, he refers to this new edition, “Which thank all the Stars in Heaven, I have at last finished.” In Hooker's 14 September letter to Darwin, he replies that “I am indeed pleased with the last Edition of the Journal, which you have so kindly sent me.” It is assumed here that Hooker's “last Edition” refers to the latest (second) edition, not the previous (first) edition.

It would therefore appear that the book was published in early September. As noted, Darwin sent the revised Journal chapters to Murray in three installments which were printed in the July (1-8), August (9-15) and September (16-21), 1845 issues of Murray's Colonial and Home Library series. The Preface to the entire work, which Darwin dated June, 1845, was part of the July installment, and this date was not updated when the installments were combined into book form in September.

There are four known variations of the 1845 edition, in which a single leaf displays the Table of Contents and ad pages, as follows:

VariantTable of ContentsT of C FormatAd Page(s)Page HeightPage WidthLeaf Caliperthickness§
 p. viip. viii(columns) 
1I-IVV-VIII §§one1 [p. 520]6¾"4½"0.143 mm1716"
2I-XIXII-XXItwo6½"0.127 mm1¼"
3 & 41 [p. 520] + 16( —— not yet measured —— )
  §  Reduced leaf caliper in Variant 2 results in 316" reduction in total thickness of book.
§§ No Table of Contents for subsequent chapters.

Variants; [x/Fy] are identifiers in Freeman's second edition. As above, x/y format indicates 1965/1977 editions. Letter “F” is seen in Freeman Bibliographical Database at Darwin Online website, as seen in the “Inserted advertisements” link in Variant 4, below.

  1. [7/F13] A collation of the three monthly installments mentioned above, often custom-bound into book format by owners once all three were available. Consequently, the spine and cover style will vary from one copy to another, with a link to one typical spine example in the Spine & Cover Details Table below.
  2. [8/F14] The complete 1845 edition, bound in the scarlet cloth that Murray used for his Colonial and Home Library series. Note slightly-shorter page height and leaf caliper—the latter results in a slightly-thinner book, as noted above. Perhaps Murray used a shorter/thinner paper stock to reduce production costs once the three parts were ready for publication as a single volume.
  3. [none] Despite the 1845 date on the title page, was apparently published in 1846, as noted by a March, 1846 date on the first of 16 ad pages (1-3 un-numbered, 4-16 numbered). Note: This variant apparently not seen by Freeman.
  4. [-/F15] The 1845 date remains on the title page, but apparently published in 1848, as suggested by an ad on the final page and also shown below. Note the “1845-1848” dates, underlined here in red. The illustration is actually a composite; the text above the two horizontal lines is taken from the first ad page, while the PERIODICALS list is at the bottom of the sixteenth page (all ad pages un-numbered in this variant). Despite the fact that this is the only occurrence of the 1848 date, Freeman states “Inserted advertisements dated 1848” [note plural]. He apparently did not see this variant in time for inclusion in his 1965 edition.

With the exception of the additional 16 ad pages, variants 3 & 4 are believed to be identical to Variant 2, and so are not included in the Spine & Cover Details table below.

For the moment, a question remains unanswered: Was the July installment the only one to include its own Table of Contents page? The “evidence” (or rather, lack thereof), suggests this is the case: presumably the Preface and Table of Contents for Chapters I through VIII (paginated as pp. i-viii), were the opening pages of that installment. When Murray subsequently published the complete edition, he simply replaced the final leaf (pp. vii-viii) listing the first eight chapters with a new one listing the twenty-one chapters of the complete work. If there had been separate Content sheets for chapters IX-XV and XVI-XXI, he would have had no reason to compress the complete Table of Contents to fit the single sheet of Variants 2 and 3.

To further support the lack of Table of Contents pages for the second and third installments, each of these begins with an opening signature at the bottom of the first page (“N” and “Z” respectively). If there had been a Table of Contents for these parts, presumably it would have been the first page of these signatures. The following table summarizes the layout of this edition:

PartDate (1845)SectionsSignaturesPagesPaginationChapters
Preliminaries §July1(A)8i-viiiPreliminaries
I11B-I, K-M161-176I-VIII
IIAugust10N-U, X-Y16177-336IX-XV
IIISeptember11Z, 2A-2I, 2K8337-512XVI-XXI
& Index

§ Preliminary pages were bound with the Part I monthly installment. Signature (A) not printed on first page.

So far, only three copies of Variant 1 have been located, each with its parts bound as a single volume:

  1. The John Murray Archives at the National Library of Scotland; Parts I-III,
  2. Private collector; Parts I-III,
  3. Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto; Parts I-II only (Catalog key 3907334).

Neither Library, nor any other known source, holds separate copies of all three Colonial and Home Library monthly installments as originally printed and sold. Therefore, the suspected lack of Tables of Contents for the August and September installments cannot be positively verified. However, since each of the above three known copies of Variant 1 lack these pages, it would be extraordinary indeed if the original collectors would:

  1. Bind their monthly issues in one volume,
  2. retain the July (Part I) Table of Contents (Chapter I-VIII only), and
  3. discard the other Tables of Contents.

And now for a puzzle or two: Freeman's Handlist (1977 edition) gives contradictory information on all this:

In context, it is assumed here that Freeman's p. 35 citation should also read probably; that is, he logically assumed there were contents leaves for each part, when in fact there were not, for the reasons described above. The puzzles?

Freeman noted the University of Toronto's two-part volume and, notwithstanding his statement that each part had its own contents leaf, missed the fact that the second part did not.

Darwin himself brought up the subject in his 31 May, 1845 letter (para. 7) to publisher John Murray:

Will the Table of Contents ie Chapters belonging to the First Number be published in the First Number, or the whole Contents in the 3d number?

Murray's reply (if any) has not been preserved. Of course Darwin's question was answered when he eventually saw the second and third parts in print. But for whatever reason, it appears he made no further comments to Murray nor to his many acquaintances who received these parts before the 1845 edition was published as a complete 21-chapter volume.

To conclude with a quick look at the Index, it is clear that it was part of the final monthly installment; its first three leaves (pp. 507-512) are the final leaves of Signature 2K, while the next four comprise a separate signature (2L). If the Index had not been included in the September installment, those three final leaves would have been blank.

1839 and 1845 Edition Comparisons

NOTE: The 1839/1845 pages and the comments below are intended simply as a guide to comparing these editions. For an actual reading of the work, the 1905 Edition text described later on is probably preferable, as it incorporates Darwin's post-1845 revisions, provides links to selected works cited by Darwin, plus links to Google Earth views of the locations he visited.

The two columns on the Journal and Remarks page compare the 1839 (left) and 1845 (right) editions, based on the Project Gutenberg eText edition of the latter at Text found only in the 1839 edition is derived from (and courtesy of) John van Wyhe, editor of “The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online” — at

Text spread across both columns is common to both editions. A word {or phrase in braces} followed by “/” and another word {or phrase in braces} indicates a minor variation between editions. Thus, A/B indicates the 1839/1845 texts. A “~” on either side of the “/” indicates that edition has no word {or phrase} equivalent to the other edition. An underlined italic phrase displays the illustration present at that location (four in 1839, fourteen in 1845 & 1860). As noted earlier, some illustrations may also be displayed sequentially in a pop-up window. Those appearing for the first time in the 1845 edition are the work of the engraver James Lee, whose name appears only on the volcanic bomb engraving (barely visible “Lee Sc” at lower right). See Jordi Corbera's La illustració a l'obra de Charles Darwin (in Catalan, with English abstract) for more details.

Text in each column follows the sequence in which it appears in that edition. Minor variations in punctuation between editions are not noted. Hover over any text to display chapter number(s). If in A/B format, A = 1839, B = 1845 edition, as above. Wherever the 1845 edition omits large portions of the 1839 text, a “Continue reading” link is provided.

Minor edits have been made to conform to current HTML5 standards.

Addenda vs. Appendix. At the rear of the 1839 edition, pp. 609-629 comprise an Addenda of corrections/revisions to various pages. These have been moved to the appropriate locations, and are prefaced by “Addendum to Page xx” where xx is the page number in the 1839 edition. Each Addendum immediately follows the paragraph—and its footnote(s), if any—to which it refers. To help keep things confusing, a footnote in the 1845 (second) edition refers to this Addenda as an Appendix, no doubt causing some readers to go off in search of an Appendix which does not exist. The same footnote is also found in the 1905 Voyage of the Beagle.

At places within the text where Darwin refers to a page number within his own Journal, that citation provides a link to the appropriate place within this HTML page (which does not include Darwin's pagination).

In the Table of Contents, the date at the top of each column refers to the three monthly installments of Colonial and Home Library in which the chapters in that column were printed prior to publication of the complete 1845 edition.

Some text sections are surrounded by one of the following border styles:
Green backgroundText appears elsewhere in other edition. Click within box to view equivalent text in other edition.
Grey background*Segments of 1839 text omitted in 1845 edition.
Double-line borderEditor's note, or text from Addenda at rear of 1839 edition.
Dotted-line underscorePhrase referred to in an Addendum or by Darwin's reference to a page number.
Dotted-line borderExcerpt from Darwin's Diary. Equivalent text did not appear in 1839 edition of his Journal.
Dashed-line border†Text appears in indicated volume and page in FitzRoy's Narrative.

* Style not used if blank space in adjacent 1845 column makes it clear that 1839 text was omitted.

† Absence of equivalent text in 1839 edition indicates Darwin referred to FitzRoy's volumes in preparing the 1845 edition.

Chapter Titles
NOTE: Each Table of Contents gives chapter number, selected chapter topics, but not the actual chapter title. These titles do appear however on the first page of each chapter, and are given here in ALL CAPS, followed by one or more of the listed chapter topics.
1839: Journal and Remarks
1839: Journal of Researches into
the Geology and Natural History …
1845: Journal of Researches into
the Natural History & Geology …
1890: Journal of Researches into
the Natural History & Geology …
IIRIO DE JANEIRO. Rio de Janeiro IIRIO DE JANEIRO. Rio de Janeiro
VIIBUENOS AYRES TO ST. FE. Excursion to St. Fe VIIBUENOS AYRES TO ST. FÉ. Excursion to St. Fé
VIIIBANDA ORIENTAL. Monte Video―Excursion to Colonia del Sacramiento VIIIBANDA ORIENTAL AND PATAGONIA. Excursion to Colonia del Sacramiento
IXPATAGONIA. Rio Plata  (Moved to end of Chapter VIII.)
XITIERRA DEL FUEGO. Tierra del Fuego XTIERRA DEL FUEGO. Tierra del Fuego
XIIFALKLAND ISLANDS. Falkland Islands  (Moved to end of Chapter IX.)
XVIIINORTHERN CHILE AND PERU. Bell Mountain—Miners―Great loads carried by the Apires―Coquimbo XVINORTHERN CHILE AND PERU. Coast-road to Coquimbo―Great Loads carried by the Miners―Coquimbo
XXTAHITI AND NEW ZEALAND. Tahiti XVIIITAHITI AND NEW ZEALAND. Pass through the Low Archipelago―Tahiti

1860 Edition

In a Postcript inserted at the end of the Preface (p. vii), Darwin corrects a few errors [1, 3, 4 in the list below], and adds a comment [2]. In the subsequent 1890 editions, these insertions appear as footnotes on the appropriate page. The Postscript appears immediately below, and each correction/comment ends with a link to the footnote in the 1890 editions. The a/b page format refers to the New and Illustrated editions, respectively.

I take the opportunity of a new edition of my Journal to correct a few errors.

  1. At page 83 I have stated that the majority of the shells which were embedded with the extinct mammals at Punta Alta, in Bahia Blanca, were still living species. These shells have since been examined (see ‘Geological Observations in South America,’ p. 83) by M. Alcide d'Orbigny, and he pronounces them all to be recent [1890 footnote, p. 78/87].
  2. M. Aug. Bravard has lately described, in a Spanish work (‘Observaciones Geologicas,’ 1857), this district, and he believes that the bones of the extinct mammals were washed out of the underlying Pampean deposit, and subsequently became embedded with the still existing shells; but I am not convinced by his remarks. M. Bravard believes that the whole enormous Pampean deposit is a sub-aërial formation, like sand-dunes: this seems to me to be an untenable doctrine [1890 footnote, p. 78/87].
  3. At page 378 I give a list of the birds inhabiting the Galapagos Archipelago. The progress of research has shown that some of these birds, which were then thought to be confined to the islands, occur on the American continent. The eminent ornithologist, Mr. Sclater,§ informs me that this is the case with the Strix punctatissima and Pyrocephalus nanus; and probably with the Otus galapagoensis and Zenaida galapagoensis: so that the number of endemic birds is reduced to twenty-three, or probably to twenty-one. Mr. Sclater thinks that one or two of these endemic forms should be ranked rather as varieties than species, which always seemed to me probable [1890 footnote, p. 366/406].
  4. The snake mentioned at page 381, as being, on the authority of M. Bibron,§§ the same with a Chilian species, is stated by Dr. Günter (Zoolog. Soc., Jan. 24th, 1859) to be a peculiar species, not known to inhabit any other country [1890 footnote, p. 366/407].

Feb. 1st, 1860.

§ Philip Lutley Sclater (1829-1913).

§§ Gabriel Bibron (1805-1848).

1879 Edition

This is the same as the 1860 edition above, but with “A Naturalist's Voyage.” added at the top of the title page (& again in Murray's 1890 “New Edition”—subsequently omitted in 1890 Illustrated Edition and later editions).

1890 Murray Editions

Murray published two editions this year, with frontispieces and variants as indicated:

  1. “New Edition”—Engraving of Darwin §
  2. “New Edition with Illustrations by R. T. Pritchett.”—H.M.S. Beagle in Straits of Magellan
         Illustrated Edition Variants:
    1. Two folded maps after index, HMS Beagle drawings absent (as noted by Freeman),
    2. Same, but HMS Beagle drawings inserted (on un-numbered leaf) between Table of Contents & List of Illustrations,
    3. Two folded maps followed by HMS Beagle drawings before Index (as seen in one custom-bound edition),

§ Although Murray does not identify the portrait's creator, the following note is printed on the recto of the title page:

The publisher is indebted for the Portrait of  Mr. Darwin, prefixed to the present edition, to the kindness of Messrs. Macmillan and Co. The same portrait is in Charles Darwin: Memorial Notices reprinted from “Nature.” London, 1882: Macmillan and Co. The illustration is captioned “Charles Darwin - From a Photograph by O. G. [Oscar Gustave] Rejlander.” Barely visible on Darwin's right shoulder is the name of the English engraver “C. H. Jeens.” [Charles Henry Jeens (1827-1879)].

Apparently, Murray published the “New Edition with Illustrations” at the suggestion of the artist Robert Taylor Pritchett, who wrote to him on 2 December, 1885:

Dear Sir,
The name of “DARWIN” is of such interest to the public and his ‘Voyage of the Beagle’ so full of subject that I am going to suggest a carefully illustrated edition to you …. Having been over the same ground artistically & observantly, I should do it con amore.§

§ Source: John Murray Archive, National Library of Scotland (no longer available via web search).

The illustrated edition adds eleven plates by Pritchett, plus numerous figures within the text. Each new illustration bears a caption, and a caption is added to some, but not all, illustrations that appeared in previous editions without captions. As noted above, drawings of HMS Beagle deck plans appear in some editions, either in front or in back, though Freeman reports these were absent in copies he examined. The drawings are often directly attributed to Philip Gidley King (1817-1904),* who was a midshipman at the time of Darwin's Beagle voyage.

* Philip Gidley King's grandfather bore the same first and middle names, but named his own son Phillip Parker King (captain of HMS Adventure) after Admiral Arthur Phillip, hence the Philip/Phillip spellings. Philip is often mis-spelled as Phillip, and of course vice versa.

In her The “Beagle” Diary, Nora Barlow writes (p. v) that King's drawings “… were prepared at the request of [Alexander Henry] Hallam Murray [younger brother of publisher John Murray], who used one of them [p. 12 in Barlow] in the illustrated edition of the Naturalist's Voyage in 1890.” Kings's actual sketch does not appear in this edition, but served as the reference for the drawing that was published. *

* In HMS Beagle: Survey Ship Extraordinary, author Karl Heinz Marquardt writes of a letter from King to Hallam Murray, dated 3 November 1897 (p. 25). It was actually dated 1891, and enclosed with it were King's Beagle sketches, drawn from memory when he was about 73 years old. Murray had them professionally redrawn and inserted an extra plate in copies of the illustrated edition printed ca. 1892, but still dated 1890 on the title page. This accounts for the plate's absence in the earliest editions of the illustrated edition.

Lady Barlow writes of another letter “… from King to Capt. Fisher, * written in 1897, enclosing press copies of the drawings, and giving an account of their preparation for Mr Hallam Murray.”

* According to Darwin's great-great-grandson Simon Keynes, this letter, dated 8 December 1897, was to Captain, and later Admiral Sir Frederic William Fisher, KCVO, who was in Australia in 1897.

The illustrated edition has the dubious distinction of being the first edition to include a James Island cactus sketch on the final page of Darwin's Galápagos chapter (XVII). Freeman describes this “miserable little scribble of a cactus” as the work of Darwin himself, but it is in fact derived from an illustration by John Stevens Henslow in his “Description of Two New Species of Opuntia….” Henslow described the drawing as follows:

“I am also indebted to Mr Darwin for this second Cactus, of which he brought home in a dry state the specimens here figured [Henslow's Figure 2]. … From the summit of the trunk numerous branches spread on all sides, somewhat in the manner represented by Fig. f., taken from a very rude sketch of Mr Darwin's.”

Although Henslow does not state where he saw Darwin's sketch, it subsequently appeared in the margin near the end of his October 9, 1835 Diary entry:

“In rocky parts there were great numbers of a peculiar Cactus whose large oval leaves connected together formed branches rising from a cylindrical trunk.”

Compare Darwin, Henslow and Murray drawings.

With the exception of one chapter (XIV) which ends with a full page of text, every other chapter in this edition concludes with a well-done illustration by Pritchett or others. The final page of the Galápagos chapter concludes with five lines of text, and without this sketch the rest of the page would be blank. So perhaps Murray realized this at the last minute, did not have anything suitable on hand, and had this sketch done in some haste to fill the empty space, using Henslow's original for reference.

Some 1845 illustrations were enhanced by Pritchett for the 1890 illustrated edition, as this scissor-beak example shows. A complete list of illustrations is given below, where pagination is compared with the 1901 edition.

As already noted, the items in the 1860 Postscript above are inserted as footnotes on the indicated pages in both editions, as follows:

ChapterNew Edition
footnote symbol & page
Illustrated Edition
footnote number & page
V*, p. 781, p. 87
†, p. 782, p. 87
XVII*, p. 3661, p. 406
†, p. 3661, p. 407

These footnotes are seen here in the 1905 edition described below.

1890 Appleton Edition

In content, the Appleton edition matches the 1890 Murray Illustrated edition, variant 2a. However, it is printed on a heavier-weight paper, lacks the half-title and the HMS Beagle drawings found in Murray's variant b. Eight pages of ads follow the index.

1890 Nelson and Sons Edition

Thomas Nelson and Sons also produced an illustrated edition, which Freeman states was published in 1888. However, a notice in the January 9, 1888 edition of The Bookseller announces that the Nelson edition of Darwin's Voyage of a Naturalist was published “through inadvertence” and subsequently withdrawn, because Murray's 1845 copyright had not yet expired.

The Nelson edition begins with a brief excerpt from the Duke of Argyll's § “A Great Lesson”— a lengthy essay published in The Nineteenth Century, Vol. XXII, No. CXXVII, September 1887, pp. 293-309. The complete essay is also included here for reference purposes.

§ George Douglas Campbell, 8th Duke of Argyll.

Given the above details, including the Duke's September 1887 remarks, it would appear that the Nelson edition was published in late 1887, when Murray's copyright was still in effect. Nelson subsequently re-issued the volume in 1890, just after the copyright expired, and notwithstanding the title given in the announcement, it bore the usual Journal of Researches title, along with these variations:

Although the edition is finely illustrated by several artists—some identified, others not—and the word “Illustrated” appears (barely visible) on the cover at lower center, a list of illustrations is not included, nor is there any mention of them on the title page or elsewhere. The sketches of HMS Beagle and the two maps found in some of Murray's 1890 illustrated editions are not included, and with a few exceptions,§ none of Nelson's illustrations are found in any other edition. There are, however, at least two illustration subjects (Vampire Bat & Mylodon) which appear in both the Murray and Nelson illustrated editions, though rendered by different artists.

§ The Finches & barrier reef illustrations in Murray's 1845 and 1890 Journal editions also appear here, as do the Vampire Bat and Mylodon illustrations which appear for the first time in all three 1890 editions.

According to Freeman, Nelson and Sons published several more editions until 1927, but never published any of Darwin's other works. To date, no information has been found to help explain how the company acquired the Journal manuscript, and none of Darwin's family seem to have taken notice of the existence of any Nelson edition.

1901 Edition

According to Freeman (p. 16, 1965), this edition “ … and subsequent reprints of it contain sixteen plates, all but one of which are present either as plates or as text figures in the [illustrated] edition of 1890.” In Freeman's second edition (p. 36, 1977), the sentence is re-written to state that this and subsequent editions “ … contain sixteen plates giving all the illustrations which are present, either in plates or as text figures, in that of 1890, including the one of the layout [ie, the Beagle deck plans redrawn from Phillip Parker King's sketches].”

Freeman's comments are potentially confusing: His “all but one of which” refers to the Beagle deck plan which did not appear in the early printings of the 1890 illustrated edition. And of 103 illustrations in the that edition, the table below lists the twenty-one which appear in the 1901 edition. Of those, the sixteen full-page plates facing the pages cited in the table below are indicated by a highlighted background. The remaining six illustrations are on pages which also contain text, as are most of the corresponding illustrations in the 1890 illustrated edition.

Freeman does not mention that the Beagle engraving by R. T. Pritchett in the 1890 editions was replaced in the 1901 edition by John Clements Wickham's engraving of the ship.

List of Illustrations
Title1890 Illustrated Edition *1901 Edition
H.M.S. Beagle (Frontispiece)(by Pritchett)(by Wickham)
untitled deck plans (1890)
Diagrams of the Beagle (1901)
(in some later printings of 1890 edition)
Fernando Noronha124
Botofogo Bay, Rio Janeiro12
Rio Janeiro3232
Vampire Bat … caught on back of Darwin's horse2348
Hydrochærus Capybara, or Water-Hog40
Skinning Uji, or Water-Serpents10398
All Sails SetTitle page & p. 531 (as “Homeward Bound”)
Basaltic Glen, Rio Negro [sic, Rio Santa Cruz] ‡192182
Condor (Sarcorhampfus Gryphus)187186
Cape Horn. Two Viewspp. 222, 223212
Chilian Miner277
Chiloe. Two Viewspp. 312, 313294
Antuco Volcano, near Talcahuano311314
Bridge of the Incas, Uspallata Pass357340
Beaks of the Geospiza379/405 (as “Finches from Galapagos Archipelago”)384
Eimeo, and Barrier-Reef432410
Fatahua Fall, Tahiti436418
Whitsunday Island466/495471
Barrier Reef round the Island of Bolabola469/498474
Sections of Coral Reefs471/500476
Sections of Coral Reefs473/502478
Sections of Coral Reefs474/503480

* Pagination in X/Y format given for six illustrations that first appeared in the 1845 edition (1845/1890).

† The deck plans from the 1890 edition (seen here) are inverted in the 1901 edition—upper deck at top, middle section below, and the 1890 keys to numbers on the plans are omitted. Beagle in Table of Contents, “BEAGLE” on illustration.

‡ See Basaltic glen footnote in Voyage of the Beagle for more details.

1905 Edition

The text is essentially the same as the 1845 edition, with minor variations as noted on the annotated Journal of Researches page. For example, 1845 text {enclosed in braces} and the accompanying illustration, are omitted. As noted in the table at the top of this page, the Preface is omitted. However, the page immediately following the Dedication shows “Concerning the ‘Beagle’ ” (vii) and “Charles Darwin” (viii)—the latter a one-page biography.

The list of topics at the head of each chapter in earlier editions are omitted in the 1905 printed edition, but the 1845 edition lists are included here within a shaded box for reference purposes.

At places in the text where Darwin refers to FitzRoy, or mentions something also described by him, a link is provided to the appropriate reference point in FitzRoy's Narrative (vol. II). [This feature not yet completed.]

Icons found within annotated text
A link to Google Earth 3D view of HMS Beagle location.
Same, but Darwin is travelling overland. In Chapter X (“Tierra del Fuego”), Darwin may be aboard the Beagle or ashore, as should be clear by the context.
In Chapters X & XI, this location is also seen from, or visited by, Australis ships.
 If not already installed, visit Google Earth website to download application.
Placemarks and lines seen in Google Earth 3D view:
HMS Beagle position where Darwin left or rejoined the ship.
——(yellow line): His overland route to his destination.
——(cyan line): His return route to the ship.
 The above are simply point-to-point lines from one location to another. Darwin's actual route was of course dependent on the terrain, existing trails, and so on.
Location along ship's route. Also inland location mentioned but not visited by Darwin.
Location added for informational purposes.
Location visited by Darwin on one of his overland excursions, or on brief shore visit from ship.
Thought to be location described by Darwin, but not yet verified.

Although this is the first edition to use The Voyage of the “Beagle” as its title, the same usage appears on the half-title pages of both 1890 Murray editions, and The Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle appears on the front covers of the Murray & Appleton 1890 illustrated editions.

1909 Harvard Classics Edition

The table shows a few text variations between the 1845 Murray and 1909 Harvard Classics editions (New York: F. F. Collier and Son). The 1909 variations in the three highlighted rows also appear in the 1905 Amalgamated Press Voyage … edition.

ChapterPage(s)*1845 Edition1909 & Gutenberg Texts
VI106/112September 8thSeptember 18th
VIII144/149stable foundationstaple foundation
VIII163/168a close connexion
thirteen feet water
a close connection†
thirteen feet of water
IX199/203carrion-vulture or Polyboruscarrion-vulture of Polyborus
XII263/268very different temperaturesvery different temperature
XIII275/279volcano of Osornovolcano of Orsono
XV322/326the bleak mountainsthe black mountains
beds of alfarfa
large salina
beds of alfalfa
large saline
80° or 83°
Both their persons
80 or 83°
But their persons
XIX448/451The Beagle staid‡ hereThe Beagle stayed here
XX467/471Thus the Radock groupThus Radock group
XXI490/493have nowhere to build!have nowhere to build.
XXI502/504the illimitable ocean?the illimitable ocean.
Harvard and Gutenberg (see below) texts use the same series of numbered footnotes—as superscripts (Harvard), [in brackets] (Gutenberg).
* X/Y format indicates page in 1845/1909 editions.
† Same variation appears elsewhere throughout the text.
‡ “staid” appears seven times in Chapters XIX-XXI; “stayed” thirty times in book, including once in Chapters XX and XXI.

1997 Project Gutenberg Online Edition

The 1909 Harvard Classics edition described above is thought to be the source for the Gutenberg eText because both Harvard and Gutenberg display the same text variations from the 1845 edition, as shown in the table above.

Since Harvard's Preface date is simply June, 1845, the actual source of Gutenberg's June 9, 1845 date is unknown. This may be the style of some other unknown source, or a coding error in the online edition—most likely the latter.

A small icon within the Voyage … text is a Google Earth link to a place mentioned by Darwin. In most cases the link appears at the point when Darwin arrives at that place, even though he may have mentioned that location earlier in the text. If necessary, a bracketed placename—[Keel Point] for example— is inserted in the text to identify the place within Google Earth. The year [in brackets] is inserted at the head of each chapter, unless given by Darwin in his opening text. Hover mouse pointer over any text to display the chapter number.

See Robert FitzRoy's Table of Positions for a more-complete list of coordinates.


Harvard places each footnote at the bottom of the appropriate page, while Gutenberg places them at the end of each chapter. Although earlier editions use *, †, ‡, etc. to denote Darwin's footnotes, both Harvard and Gutenberg sequentially number them within each chapter; the latter, in brackets. In this site's text, each footnote immediately follows the paragraph in which it is cited, using the Gutenberg style. Thus, [1], [2], and so on.

The symbols § and §§ signify additional footnotes inserted by the editor of the text on this site. Additional minor edits have been made to conform to current HTML5 standards. The original 1997 Project Gutenberg text at was updated in 2003.

Summary: 1839-1905 Editions
Spine & Cover Details
Date 1839 1845 1890 1901 1905
Publisher Henry Colburn John Murray Murray (UK), Appleton (US) Nelson & Sons John Murray Amalgamated Press
Comment Vol. III in Narrative … Published Separately Variant 1 Variants 2-4 § New edition Illustrated Editions Popular Edition First edition with new title
Voyages | of the | Adventure | and | Beagle.
Colburn | London
Researches | in
Geology | and
Natural History
Three monthly
custom bound
by owner,
spine & cover
design varies
Colonial | and | Home
Vol. | XII
Darwin's | Naturalist's | Voyage
Naturalist's | Voyage
Round the | World
John Murray
A | Naturalist's | Voyage
Round the | World
Darwin — (space)
(bolas) — (knives & slingshot)
London — Darwin
John Murray — (space)
Journal of
a Voyage
Round the
Charles Darwin
M·A · F·R·S
T. Nelson and Sons
A | Naturalist's | Voyage
Round the
John Murray
Voyage of
H.M.S. | Beagle
Charles | Darwin
The | Harmsworth
Typical Custom Spine Variant 2 Spine
& Title Page
  Murray & Appleton Spines Nelson & Sons Spine  
Front Cover
[decorative cartouche, no text] [as above] Murray's Colonial & Home Library [Horseman pursuing Rhea] The Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle
[Dolphins surrounding initials CD]
[sea shell]
[Condor, Andes in backgound
on D. Appleton American edition]
Darwin's | Journal
of a Voyage
round the
T· N· & S·

A | Naturalist's
Round the
C. Darwin
Show 1890-1905 Covers
Preliminary Pages

          = not counted in roman-numeral pagination               = counted but un-numbered page               = series title page               = half-title page               = frontispiece (View all)                     = title page

[leaves not present] [blank recto] [leaves not present]
[blank verso]
[leaves not present]   [blank recto] [blank recto] [blank recto] [blank recto] [leaf not present]
[blank verso] [blank verso] [blank verso] [blank verso]
[blank recto] The Voyage of the ‘Beagle’ A Naturalist's Voyage
Round the World †
[blank recto] The Voyage
Round the World
[blank recto]
[blank verso] [blank verso] [blank verso] [blank verso] [blank verso] [blank verso]
[leaves not present] The Necessity for Books
The Harmsworth Library
[3-page catalog]
iVoyages of the
Adventure and Beagle
i[blank recto] iJournal of Researches into the
Natural History and Geology…
i[blank recto] i[blank recto] iDarwin's Journal i[blank recto] iThe Voyage of the “Beagle”
ii[blank verso] ii[blank verso] iiLondon: William Clowes and Sons, Stamford Street iiCharles Darwin
iiH.M.S. Beagle in Straits of Magellan
[R. T. Pritchett]
ii[blank verso] iiH.M.S. “Beagle”
[John Clements Wickham]
ii[blank verso]
iiiNarrative of the Surveying Voyages…
iiiJournal of Researches in
Geology and Natural History.
iiiDedication to Charles Lyell iiiA Naturalist's Voyage.
Journal of Researches into the
Natural History & Geology…
iiiJournal of Researches into the
Natural History & Geology…
iii[blank recto] iiiJournal of Researches …
Natural History & Geology…
iiiThe Voyage
of the “Beagle”
ivWhiting, Beaufort House, London iv[blank verso] iv[blank verso] ivLately Published
[3 other Darwin titles]
ivDedication to
Charles Lyell
ivPhosphorescent Sea iv[blank verso] ivDedication to
Charles Lyell
Journal and Remarks
vJournal of Researches into the
Geology and Natural History…
vPreface vDedication to
Charles Lyell
vPrefatory Notice to
the Illustrated Edition
John Murray
Dec. 1889
vJournal of Researches …
Natural History & Geology…
vDedication to
Charles Lyell
vConcerning the “Beagle”
vi[blank verso] viWhiting, Beaufort House, Strand vi viWorks by the Same Author [20 other Darwin titles] viAuthor's Preface vi[blank verso] vi[blank verso] viCharles Darwin page bio]
viiPreface viiContents;
viiAuthor's Preface vii viiPreface viiFrom the Original Preface viiContents; I-X
viii viiiContents; VI-VIII viiiContents; XII-XXI viii viiiContents; I-IV viii viii viiiContents; XI-XXI
ix [leaves not present] ixContents; I-VIII ixContents; V-IX ix ixContents; I-IV [leaves not present]
xContents; I-V xContents; VIII, cont.-XVII xContents; X-XIV x xContents; V-IX
xiContents; VI-XI xiContents; XVII, cont.-XXI xiContents; XV-XVIII xiContents; I-XXI xiContents; IX, cont.-XIII
xiiContents; XII-XVI [leaves not present] xiiContents; XIX-XXI xiiblank verso xiiContents; XIII, cont.-XVII
xiiiContents; XVII-XXI xiiiList of Illustrations [leaves not present]
[no List of Illustrations]
xiiiContents; XVII, cont.-XX
xivContents; XXI, cont.-XXIII xiv xivContents; XXI
  John Dower map tipped in after Darwin's Table of Contents, or folded loose in inside front cover pocket. xv xvList of Illustrations
[note accidental Arabic 16]
xvi 16
Pagination xiv + [1]-615 viii + [1]-519 + 1 ad
[16 additional ad pages in variant 3]
xi + [1]-500 ‡ xvi + [1]-551 ‡‡ xii + [13]-615 xvi + [1]-521 + 7 ads viii + 1-507
Date 1839 1845 [variant 3: 1848] 1890 1901 1905
Publisher Henry Colburn John Murray Murray (UK), Appleton (US) Nelson & Sons John Murray Amalgamated Press

  § Variants 2, 3 & 4 thought to be identical, with exception of additional 16 ad pages in the latter two.
  * Line breaks as shown, with “|” indicating an additional line break.
** A “—” symbol separates the Murray & Appleton spine details.
  † Half-title appears in Variants 2a & 2b, status may vary in 2c, omitted in Appleton American edition.
  ‡ 32 additional pages of “Mr. Murray's List of Works” follow index in some copies [numbered 1-32]
‡‡ 8 ad pages follow Index in Appleton American edition (none in Murray Illustrated edition).
    Pagination: [1] or [13] = number of first text page, but number does not appear on page.
    For additional details, see Bibliographical introduction by R. B. Freeman at the Darwin-Online website.