In the years leading up to Charles Darwin's famous voyage on the Beagle, the ship and its captain Robert Fitzroy (1805-65) had participated in an expedition to the desolate southern coast of South America. This three-volume work, published in 1839, describes both voyages. Volume 2 is Fitzroy's account of his voyage with Darwin. He describes how the Hydrographer of the Admiralty, Captain Beaufort (founder of The Nautical Magazine, also reissued), approved the proposal that 'some well educated and scientific person' should join the expedition: Darwin was chosen. Fitzroy's descriptions of the locations visited and their natural history provide a fascinating counterpoint to Darwin's own account of the voyage, the first published version of which makes up Volume 3. Fitzroy refers regularly to the geographical and scientific books that he and Darwin kept in the ship's library. The majority of these are also reissued in the Cambridge Library Collection.