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November 24 , 2008

Darwin Slept Here


One snowy day in Ushuaia, Argentina, the self-proclaimed ‘southernmost city in the world’, at the end of a long trip designed to put as much distance between himself and a frustrating job as possible, writer Eric Simons picked up a copy of Charles Darwin’s Voyage of the Beagle. Simons had just hiked the mountains overlooking Beagle Channel, and found himself engrossed in Darwin’s account. Like Simons, Darwin was in his mid-twenties when he travelled to the continent, having joined a five-year expedition to survey and map the coastline of South America, as the expedition’s naturalist. Simons found himself compelled to follow Darwin further into South America – to stand where Darwin had stood, and to explore the landscapes, legends and people that had fascinated Darwin two centuries before. Simons trekked to as many of the locations in Darwin's journals as he could find, trying to see these places through Darwin’s eyes, and to discover what South Americans know about Darwin. Part travelogue, part insight into one of the greatest scientific minds in history, Darwin Slept Here will fascinate and enthral.

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