Darwin's HMS Beagle narrative set for $33,000 at Dreweatts?

A four-volume narrative of the journey of HMS Beagle by Charles Darwin, Admiral Robert Fitzroy and Captain Phillip Parker King will auction on December 18.

The Narrative of the Surveying Voyages of His Majesty's Ships Adventure and Beagle (1839) carries an estimate of £18,000-20,000 ($29,404-32,672), with the sale set to take place at Dreweatts and Bloomsbury in London.

Darwin Beagle narrative
The narrative is a detailed account of the Beagle's voyage

Darwin joined the Beagle as a trainee naturalist in 1831 for the ship's five year voyage to South America and Australia.

His studies of the flora and fauna of the Galapagos Islands led to the formation of his theory of evolution - which was published in 1859.  

The narrative was written by the principal members of the expedition.

The collection was the personal copy of John Lort Stokes, a naval officer and hydrographer who accompanied the authors on the Beagle, and features his signature in volume one.

The lot will also feature a copy of the Discoveries in Australia; With an Account of the Coasts and Rivers Explored and Surveyed During the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle by Stokes.

A pamphlet titled The Narrow Escape Rear Admiral J Lort Stokes, F.R.G.S Had of His Life When Lieutenant in H.M.S. Beagle, Discovering the Victoria River in North West Australia, 1839, is also included.

The account describes Lort being hit by a spear thrown by an aborigine in the province of New Holland, and his subsequent recovery.

In 2009, a first edition copy of Charles Darwin's On the Origins of Species realised £103,000 ($168,353) at an auction in London.

A first edition copy of CS Lewis' Spirits in Bondage is valued at £10,000-15,000 ($16,345-24,517) in the present sale.

Few early copies of Lewis' poetry collection are extant today, with only one other example ever having appeared at auction. It realised £17,000 ($27,786) at Sotheby's in 2008.

You can view our selection of books and manuscripts here.

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