Voyage of the Beagle There are many inexpensive paperback editions available as well as an
The Beagle Diary R.D.
Keynes, editor. Along with his scientific journals, Darwin kept a general
diary of his travels and impressions that he sent home to his family
when the occasion permitted. He used this as the basis for The Voyage
but it records his impressions fresh as he experienced them, without
the filter of retrospection. Cambridge University Press.
Charles Darwin's Zoology Notes and
Lists from H.M.S. Beagle R.D. Keynes, editor. Cambridge University Press.
Charles Darwin and the Voyage of the
Beagle Lady Nora Barlow, ed. A compilation
of the letters that Darwin sent home plus extracts from some of his
scientific note-books. Barlow is Darwin's grand-daughter. Philosophical
The Structure and Distribution of
Coral Reefs The first volume of Darwin's Beagle
geological studies. Available in paperback from The University of Arizona
Geological Observations on the Volcanic
Islands Visited During the Voyage of HMS Beagle
The second volume of Darwin's Beagle geological studies, this volume
contains a chapter on the geology of the Galapagos.
Geological Observations on South America The third volume of Darwin's Beagle geological studies, this volume
describes the evidence for the raising of South America. Likewise, I
know of no current reprint.
The Autobiography of Charles Darwin. Lady Nora Barlow, ed. This is
a very short work written by Darwin towards the end of his life, for
his own amusement and the interest of his children and grand-children.
After his death, it was heavily edited by his wife. The W. W. Norton
edition is the only complete edition, with all the cuts restored.
On the Origin of Species There are many inexpensive paperback editions available, but it is always
best to read the first edition - Darwinism in its purest form. In later
volumes, Darwin tried to accomodate criticisms, most of which were wrong.
The Origin is a big, heavy, intimidating volume, but there is
a very nice abridged version that is beatifully illustrated and very
accessible. It is edited by Richard Leaky. The Origin can
also be found on-line.
Charles Darwin: Voyaging. Volume 1
of a Biography Janet Browne. A large, well-written,
and highly readable biography of Darwin from birth through the voyage
of the Beagle and the first few years back in England. The book covers
the years of barnacle work and ends as Darwin is about to write The
Origin. Browne is one of the editors of Darwin's correspondence,
and she knows her subject intimately. This work is a more about Darwin
as a person, as compared to the Desmond and Moore book, which places
Darwin in a broader political and scientific context. The two books
are both outstanding, and complement each other nicely. Published in
1995, I am eagerly awaiting volume 2, which is scheduled for publication
this fall. Alfred A. Knopf.
Darwin: The Life of a Tormented Evolutionist
Adrian Desmond and James Moore. Among the very
best, biographies of Darwin, it is big, intimidating, and scholarly,
but extremely well written and easy to read. Warner Books.
Darwin, His Daughter and Human Evolution
Randal Keynes. A history of the development
of Darwin's ideas set again the background of his family life. Written
by Darwin's grea-great grandson. Riverhead Books.
Three Men of the Beagle. Richard Lee Marks. The story of Darwin, FitzRoy,
and most especially Jemmy Button, a Tierra del Fuegian. Jemmy was one
of four Fuegians taken by FitzRoy to England on the Beagle voyage previous
to Darwin's. It was FitzRoy's intention to educate the "savages"
and return them home in hopes that their benevolent treatment would
translate into help for shipwrecked sailors who, typically were murdered
by the Fuegians. The book follows Jemmy's surprising and tragic history
after being returned to his family. Alfred A. Knopf.
Darwin for Beginners
Jonathan Miller and Borin van Loon. A short,
entertaining cartoon introduction to Darwin's life and work. Don't be
fooled by the cartoon format. It presents a lot of accurate, stimulating
information in a compact, readable form. Panthon Books.
Darwin and the Beagle Allan Moorehead. A beautifully written and illustrated account of Darwin's
voyage. Penguin Books.
The Origin Iriving Stone. A carefully researched biographical novel about Darwin
and his times. The book brings to life Darwin's research, and the great
scientists of the day. Doubleday.
In the Wake of Darwin's Beagle Alan Villiers. National Geographic, October 1969.
Exploration and Human History
My Father's Island: A Galapagos Quest Johanna Angermeyer. The Angermeyers were among those drawn to the Galapagos
following publication of Beebe's book, and they are one of the most
prominent families in Puerto Ayora. Viking.
Galapagos: Worlds End
William Beebe. I read this just after
my first visit to the Galapagos, and before I knew that I would ever
have the opportunity to return. I found myself wishing I had read it
before the trip. Beebe was a famous zoologist at the New York Zoological
Society who wrote many wonderful books about his explorations and travels
around the world. This book recounts his first expedition to Galapagos
in 1922. He was the first person to describe the Galapagos as beautiful
and his book led directly to the colonization of the Galapagos by europeans
in the 1930's. Among the many people inspired to settle in Galapagos
were the Ritters and the Witmers (see the Witmer and Treherne references).
Originally published by G. P. Putnam and Sons, it has been reprinted
in paperback by Dover and is easy to find.
The Arcturus Adventure William Beebe. Recounts Beebe's second trip to the Galapagos. As wonderful
as Galapagos: Worlds End, but difficult to find. G.B. Putnam
The Enchanted Islands: A Five-Year
Adventure in the Galapagos Ainslie
and Frances Conway. The Conways lived in the Galapagos in the late '30's
and into the beginning of World War II. G.P. Putnam's Sons.
The Enchanted Islands: The Galapagos
Discovered John Hickman. A good account of
the human history of the Galapagos from Inca times through the buccaneers
and sealers, to modern settlement and conservation. Anthony Nelson.
The Curse of the Giant Tortoise: Tragedies,
Mysteries and Crimes in the Galapagos Islands.
Octavio Latorre. A comprehensive history of humans in the Galapagos.
Not a great translation from Spanish, but very interesting. Readily
available in Quito.
Clinker Islands: A Complete History
of the Galapagos Archipelago Lillian Otterman.
An good of the human history of the Galapagos from Inca times through
the buccaneers and sealers, to about the mid-60's, with emphasis on
the many yachts that visited the archipelago. McGuinn and McGuire.
The Galapagos Affair John Treherne. An investigation into the conflict on Isla Floreana in
the 1930's between the eccentric philosopher Friedrich Ritter, the Witmer
family, and Baroness Eloise Wagner de Bosquet, self-styled "Empress
of Galapagos". By the time the affair was concluded, Dr. Ritter
had died under suspicious circumstances, the Baroness and her lover
had disappeared, and their servant (her former lover) had died of thirst
and starvation after being shipwrecked on one of the outer islands.
The mystery of the deaths and disappearances are unsolved to this day.
Floreana Margaret Wittmer. The story of the Wittmers' attempts to settle in Galapagos.
Includes their account of the famous Galapagos affair. Anthony Nelson.
The Galapagos: Proceedings of the
Galapagos International Scientific Project
Robert I. Bowman, editor. A series of papers, some more technical than
others, about the Galapagos. University of California Press.
Patterns of Evolution in Galapagos
Organisms Robert I Bowman, Margaret Berson, and Alan E. Leviton, editors. A series
of papers, some more technical than others, about the Galapagos. Pacific
Division, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
The Galapagos Islands Pierre Constant. Now in it's third edition,
this is a very accessible paperback that gives a general overview of
Galapagos natural history, similiar to the Jackson book. It is nicely
illustrated and particularly strong in the marine material (see Constant's
book in the Marine Life
section of this reading list). However, to my mind, the treatment is
much skimpier than Jackson's. Odessey Passport Books.
Galapagos: The Noah's Ark of the Pacific Irenaus Eibl-Eibesfeldt. Eibl-Eibesfeldt visited the Galapagos in 1954
and 1957. His visits convinced him that the Galapagos were teetering
on the brink of total devestation and were in desperate need of conservation.
His work led directly to the foundation of the Charles Darwin Research
Station and the establishment of the Galapagos National Park. Doubleday.
Galapagos: Stark Worlds of Wildlife Ron Fisher. In "Majestic Island Worlds" National Geographic
Galapagos Wildlife: A Visitor's Guide David Horwell and Pete Oxford. At just 139 pages and very broadly organized,
this book has little depth to it, although it has many interesting tid-bits
about the natural history of the animals and descriptions of the major
visitor sites. The book is beautifully photographed. Bradt Publications.
Galapagos: A Natural History 2nd ed. M.H. Jackson. If you are going to read one book for the Galapagos,
this is it. The trips that I organize for my students include a guide
book and this is the one I buy. It costs US $25 and can be ordered readily
from your favorite book store. University of Calgary Press.
The Galapagos Islands Roger Perry. A short, easy to read introduction to the islands.
Galapagos - Key Environments Rober Perry. A collection of short articles about different aspects
of Galapagos ecology. Pergamon Press.
Galapagos Wildlife Under Pressure Dieter and Mary Plage. National Geographic, January, 1988.
Galapagos: Discovery on Darwin's Islands
David W. Steadman and Steven Zousmer. Steadman
is a world-renowned ornithologist and expert on fossil birds. He has
done pioneering work on the fossil history of Darwin's finches. The
book is illustrated with water-color paintings by Steadman's brother
Lee. Smithsonian Institution Press.
The Galapagos Islands: The Essential
Handbook for Exploring, Enjoying, and Understanding Darwin's Enchanted
Islands Marylee Stephenson. I'm not sure that I completely
agree with the subtitle because it is quite skimpy on the natural history.
But the book features descriptions of most of the visitor sites that
you will be seeing. The Mountaineers Press.
Birds, Mammals, & Reptiles of
the Galapagos Islands Andy Swash and Rob Still. A short, 168 page field gude with computer-montaged
illustrations. it is geared for identification, and the broad natural
history is limited. I find it very helpful for the identification of
less obvious birds such as finches and shore-brds and waders. Yale University
Darwin's Islands: A Natural History
of the Galapagos Ian Thornton. An excellent
overview of the islands. The Natural History Press.
A Guide to the Birds of Galapagos
Islands Isabel Castro and Antonia Phillips. Princeton University Press.
Ecology and Evolution of Darwin's
Finches, 2nd ed Peter Grant. Grant and his
wife have made detailed studies of the finches over the past ten years
and this book summarizes much of their work. It is almost the last word
on a very complicated group of birds, but it is very heavy reading and
requires a real committment. But see the Weiner reference below. Princeton
Evolutionary Dynamics of a Natural
Population: The Large Cactus Finch of the Galapagos
B. Rosemary Grant and Peter R. Grant. Same comments as above. University
of Chicago Press.
A Field Guide to the Birds of Galapagos Michael Harris. Collins.
Galapagos Diary: A complete Guide
to the Archipelago's Wildlife Hermann Heinzel and Barnaby Hall. University of California Press.
Darwin's Finches: An Essay on the
General Biological Theory of Evolution David
Lack. This is the classic study of the finches, written in 1947 and
reprinted in 1968. It is technical, but well written. Although somewhat
out of date because of the Grants, it is still a terrific introduction
to the finches. Peter Smith.
Galapagos: Islands of Birds Bryan Nelson. A very intimate look at most
aspects of bird life in the Galapagos, especially boobies. William Morrow
The Beak of the Finch: A story of
Evolution in Our Time Johnathan Weiner. A Pulitzer
Prize-winning popular account of the Grants' work and its place in modern
evolutionary theory. Very accessible. Alfred A. Knopf.
Iguanas of the World: Their Behavior,
Ecology, and Conservation Gordon
M. Burghardt and A. Stanley Rand, eds. A large volume containing articles
on various problems in iguana biology. Several good articles about Galapagos
iguanas. Noyes Publications.
Restoring the Tortoise Dynasty: The
Decline and Recovery of the Galapagos Giant Tortose
Godfrey Merlen. A large-format, nicely photographed book describing
the tortoise conservation efforts of the Charles Darwin Foundation and
the Galapagos National Park. Available from the Charles
Darwin Foundation .
Turtles,. Tortoises & Terrapins:
Survivors in Armor. Ronald Orenstein. A beautifully
illustrated examinaton of the natural history, evolution, and conservation
of chelonians. Firefly Books.
Herpetology, 2nd ed. F.H. Pough, R. M. Andrews, J.E. Cadle, M.L Crump, A.H. Savitzky &
K. D. Wells. Prentice-Hall.
The Galapagos Tortoises: Nomenclatural
and Survival Status Peter
C.H. Prichard. A recent research monograph that provides a comprehensive
survey of the current status of tortoises. It is not so heavily scientific
that it is inaccessable to the layman. Chelonian Research Foundation.
The Gigantic Land Tortises of the
Galapagos Archipelago John Van Denburgh. A
recent reprint of Van Denburgh's classic 1914 monographs on giant tortoises
based on material obtained by the 1905-06 California Academy of Sciences
expedition to the Galapagos. Society for the Study of Amphibians and
Marine Life of the Galapagos: A Guide
to the Fishes, Whales, Dolphins, and Other Marine Animals Pierre Constant. Good, but not as complete as Humann, below. However,
it does have a good section on marine invertebrates.
James Cribb. Beautiful photography of Galapagos marine life, but not
a comprehensive guide. Camden House.
The Fishes of the Galapagos Islands
Jack Stein Grove and Robert J. Lavenberg. A
large in-depth survey of Galapagos fish with many good photos. It is
great for post-Galapagos study, but it is too big and too intimidating
to serve as a take-along field guide.
Reef Fish Identification: Galapagos Paul Humann. Probably the best and most complete guide to Galapagos
fishes. New World Publications, Inc. and Libri Mundi.
A Field Guide to Sea Stars and other
Echinoderms of Galapagos Cleveland P. Hickman,
Jr. Echinoderms are a conspicuous part of the Galapagos snorkeling experience.
This nice little handbook is easy and accessible. Along with the Humann
book, this is a definite "must-bring". Sugar Spring Press.
A Field Guide to Marine Molluscs of
Galapagos Cleveland P. Hickman, Jr.and Yve
Finet. Like echinoderms, molluscs are a conspicuous part of the Galapagos
snorkeling experience. And like its companion echinoderm book, this
little handbook, is easy, accessible, and beautifully illustrated. Another
definite "must-bring". Sugar Spring Press.
Galapagos Marine Invertebrates: Taxonomy,
Biogeography, and Evolution in Darwin's Islands
Matthew. J. James, editor. A collection of very technical papers, but
the first to substantively treat this subject. Plenum Press.
A Field Guide to the Fishes of Galapagos Godfrey Merlen. For some time, this was the only fish guide available.
It is not as thorough as Humann, and the paintings are sometimes difficult
to match up with living specimens.
Flowering Plants of the Galapagos
Conley K. McMullen. Published at the end
of 1999, this guide book is exactly what I was hoping for in the Wiggins
& Porter entry below. All of the illustrations are photographs rather
than line illustrations,making the identifications much easier, and
the text is easily accessable to those with no background in botany.
Size-wise it also fits nicely between Schofield and Wiggins & Porter,
and is easily portable in the field. Cornell University Press.sPublished
orter entry ny.
Plants of the Galapagos: Field Guide
and Travel Journal Eileen
K. Schofield. The plants are just as interesting as the animals. This
book is very thin and portable, but oh so incomplete. And now it's out
of print. Universe Books.
Flora of the Galapagos Islands Ira L. Wiggins and Duncan M. Porter. The Galapagos plant bible. It is
huge, and intimidating if you are a non-botanist (like me). However,
it is the best and most comprehensive plant guide available. I hope
that someday somebody will write a guide that falls somewhere between
Wiggins & Porter and Schofield. Stanford University Press.
Coffee Table Books
Nathan Farb. With commentary by M.H. Jackson. Rizzoli Books
Darwin's Forgottten World Text by evolutionary biologist Roger Lewin and photographs by Sally
Ann Thompson. Gallery Books.
Galapagos: Islands Lost in Time Tui de Roy Moore. Moore is a Galapagos native and world-famous photographer.
Galapagos: Islands Born of Fire Tui de Roy Moore. Moore is a Galapagos native and world-famous photographer.
Warwick Publishing, Inc.
Galapagos: The Flow of Wildness 2 vols. Elliot Porter. A Sierra Club book with beautiful photographs
and excerpts by famous Galapagos visitors. Sierra Club/Ballantine Books..
Barbara Radcliffe Rogers. This over-size book has some beautiful photos.
It has recently been remaindered and can sometimes be had for next to
nothing. Mallard Press.
Galapagos: The Lost Paradise Peter Salwen. This book has a pretty poor text but the photographs are
absolutely magnificent. I have two copies of this book - one at home
and one in my office. Since I only take slides on my trips (I have easily
over 2,000!) it usually takes some amount of time and planning if I
want to look at them or show them to someone. Thus it is this book that
I usually turn to whenever I need to take a "mental voyage"
back to the Galapagos. By comparison to other books of its type, it's
cheap too! Mallard Press
Islands and Island Biogeography
Island Life: A Natural History of
Islands of the World Sherwin Carlquist. A classic
book on island biogeography with lots of examples. It was written at
a very interesting period of time - just before the acceptance of continental
drift and its consequences, and just before the publication of of MacArthur
and Wilson, below. Natural History Press
Evolution on Islands. Peter R. Grant (ed.). Essays based on papers on aspects of island evolution
presented at a Royal Society of London conference. Includes several
papers on the Galapagos. Oxford University Press.
The Theory of Island Biogeography Robert H. MacArthur and Edward O. Wilson. Very technical and not for
the faint-hearted and math-impaired, but worth a look. This book was
the first comprehensive theoretical explication of spread, distribution,
and extinction of island life. Not only did it influence how biologists
think about islands, but it also set the tone for debates over conservation,
especially with respect to ecological reserver, over the next few decades.
Princeton University Press.
Menard. A short but rich, densely packed, book about the formation,
growth, and subsidence of islands. Scientific American Library
The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography
in an Age of Extinctions David Quammen. Quammen
is a science writer and this book is written for the layman. It is an
excellent introduction to island biogeography, as begun by MacArthur
and Wilson, and the controversy over ecological reserves. It is very
readable, if a bit over-long. I especially liked the prominent role
that Alfred Russel Wallace is given, but I could do without the Darwin
Anolis Lizards of the Caribbean: Ecology,
Evolution, and Plate Tectonics Jonathan Roughgarden
The islands of the Caribbean have been subject to many of the same types
of evolutionary and geologic influences as the Galapagos. Looking at
other archipelagos is the only way to put the Galapagos into a broad
evolutionary and planetary perspective. This book is very short, but
very technical. Oxford University Press.
Hawaiian Biogeography: Evolution on
a Hot Spot Archipelago Warren L. Wagner and
V. A. Funk, eds. Hawaii is the archipelago most often compared to Galapagos,
in terms of both volcanism and evolution. Therefore, it is an important
companion piece to Galapagos. More technical than most of the other
books on this list, it is accessible to the lay reader with a bit of
effort. Smithsonian Institution Press.
Alfred Russel Wallace. The classic in the field. 'Nuff said. Available
in an inexpensive paperback reprint by Prometheus Books.
Island Biogeography: Ecology, Evolution,
and Conservation. Robert J. Whittaker. Good, modern textbook on the subject. Oxford University
Islands: Portraits of Miniature Worlds
Louise B. Young. The authors visits to and interpretaion of many islands,
including Galapagos. W.H. Freeman
Volcanoes and Geology
2nd ed. Jacques-Marie Bardintzeff s and Alexander. R. McBirney. Jones
Building Planet Earth: Five Billion
Years of Earth History Petter Catermole. A
good introduction to earth history, including plate tectonics. Cambridge
Daniels. Part of the Time-Life Planet Earth series, this book is very
introductory, but beautifully illustrated, as you would expect. Time
Robert Decker and Barbara Decker. A good introduction to volcanoes for
the general reader. W.H. Freeman & Co.
Volcanoes: Cruicibles of Change Richard V. Fisher, Grant Heiken, and Jeffrey B. Hulen. A good introduction
to volcanoes for the general reader.
Volcanoes: A Planetary Perspective Peter Francis. An outstanding textbook about all aspects of volcanoes.
If you are serious about wanting to really understand volcanoes, this
is the book to read. Oxford University Press.
Global Tectonics, 2nd ed. Philip Kearey and Frederick J. Vine. An excellent, comprehensive textbook
on plate tectonics. Recommended. Blackwell Science.
Geology and Petrology of the Galapagos
Islands A.R. McBirney and Howel Williams. The
classic (and pretty much only) book on Galapagos geology. The Geological
Society of America.
Earth Story: The Shaping of Our World Simon Lamb and David Sington. A good introduction to earth history,
including plate tectonics. Princeton University Press.
Foundations of Earth Science Frederick K. Lutgens & Edward J. Tarbuck. A good, freshma-level
introduction to geology. Prentice Hall.
Alwyn Scarth. A good introduction to volcanoes for the general reader.
Texas A & M University Press.
Encyclopedia of Volcanoes Haraldur Sigurdsson, ed. in chief. A huge (and expensive) compendium
of all aspects of volcanology. Newly published, it is probably the most
comprehensive, up-to-date source. Academic Press.
Howel Williams and A. R. McBirney. Now somewhat dated, this is a classic
book on volcanoes, especially noteworthy here because the authors wrote
the book on Galapagos geology. Freeman, Cooper & Co.
Ecuador and Galapagos Tony Perrottet. Insight Guides, Houghton Mifflin.
The New Key to Ecuador and the Galapagos David L. Pearson and David W. Middleton. Ulysses Press.
Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands:
A Travel Survival Kit Rob Rachowiecki. Lonely
Life on the Rocks: The Galapagos Annie Dillard. One of a collection of natural history essays by a Pulitzer
Prize-winning author. In "¨Teaching a Stone to Talk: Expeditions
and Encounters" by Dillard. Harper Perennial.
Isle of the Black Cats (Galapagos) Gustavo Vasconez Hurtado. A fictionalized account of the Ritter/Witmer/Baroness
conflict on Floreana. According to Hurtado, they were all spies. Readily
available in Quito. Libri Mundi.
The Evolution of Jane Catherine Schine. A novel about a young woman, Jane, who travels to
Galapagos to get away from things following the end of a very short-lived
marriage. The big tragedy in Jane's life, however, is her abandonment
by her cousin and child-hood best friend. Jane is tormented by her cousin's
desertion and constantly wonders what she did to drive her cousin away.
Imagine her surprise when she arrives at Galapagos and finds that her
cousin, who is now a botanist, is the tour guide! The book is a clever
and enjoyable interweaving of the evolution of life and the evolution
of a friendship set in the evolutionary cauldron of the Galapagos. Houghton
Herman Melville. Melville visited the Galapagos some years after Darwin
and recorded his impressions in a series of sketches.
Kurt Vonnegut. The million-year long story, narrated by a ghost, of
a very eccentric group of humans stranded in the Galapagos. Set against
the evolutionary background of the Galapagos, Vonnegut explores the
human condition and our love affair with our big brains. Virtually everything
that Vonnegut says about Galapagos is wrong, but nonetheless, this is
one of my all-time favorite books.
Ecotourism and Sustainable Development:
Who Owns Paradise? Martha Honey. Three chapters
outlining the basics of ecotourism followed by seven nation studies.
The first of these studies is an excellent chapter on the current status
and challenges of ecotourism in Galapagos. Island Press.