Customer Review

172 of 179 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Caution, this is an abridgement., December 19, 2002
This review is from: The Voyage of the Beagle: Charles Darwin's Journal of Researches (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
I bought this version when I could not find my old copy. On trying to find a favorite passage (Darwin's revulsion at a parasitic wasp in Brazil and the inconsistency of such cruelty with any providential design of nature by a good God), I noticed that it was not there. I do not know what else is missing. I find it infuriating that this was not adequately noted on the cover of the book. I always prefer books as the author wrote them, especially when the author is Darwin. This is a lively, beautiful and haunting work that I first read when I was thirteen and have read twice since. Readers deserve the whole thing.
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Comments

Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 2, 2008 9:31:07 AM PDT
Heath says:
Thank You! For a classic, it's terrific to get commentary on the edition, which makes it easier to choose which option to purchase.

Posted on Mar 10, 2009 6:19:26 PM PDT
G. Wells says:
thanks you -- i didn't see that it was abridged, you saved me some frustration!

Posted on Nov 4, 2009 10:23:39 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 4, 2009 10:25:15 PM PST
clarity says:
It is truly obnoxious for a publisher to obscure the fact that they are offering an abridged version.

Posted on Jan 23, 2011 9:35:34 AM PST
Unfortunately, this review is showing up under many different editions of the book. Which is the one that is the abridged?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 26, 2011 7:48:47 PM PST
I agree. I'd like to know which edition is truly the abridged. I would be very surprised to find that a Penguin Classics edition was abridged. I have quite a few of these and none are abridged to my knowledge.

Posted on Feb 24, 2014 5:12:22 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Apr 13, 2014 9:55:00 AM PDT
I think your favorite passage regarding the outrage of the ichneumon wasp paralyzing caterpillars and laying her eggs inside them is not in Voyage, but in Origin of Species and Darwin's letters. In Voyage, near the end of Chapter 2, Darwin does discuss this wasp, and her pursuit of a spider (totally creepy), and mentions that the wasp also paralyzes caterpillars and lays her eggs in them. In Origin, Darwin writes that this phenomenon can't be consistent with benevolent design. Darwin expresses himself most clearly regarding the practices of this wasp and benevolent diety in a letter to Asa Gray written in 1860. The letter is quoted in numerous Wikipedia pieces on Darwin:

"I own that I cannot see as plainly as others do, and as I should wish to do, evidence of design and beneficence on all sides of us. There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidae with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars, or that a cat should play with mice."

I have this audiobook (read by David Case, who is wonderful) and the passage describing the wasp, the paralyzing of the spider and the caterpillars, is there (it is a long passage, 4 or 5 paragraphs). But the connection of this to benevolent design is not discussed in Voyage in any edition, audio or paper.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 13, 2014 9:44:08 AM PDT
Alan Meyer says:
@Ms. Woodward,

Thank you for your important clarification!
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