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Darwin's Diary


Throughout his life, Charles Darwin kept diaries and secret notebooks. These records have helped historians and filmmakers piece together the story of a remarkable, complex man. Darwin was driven to discover nature's laws. Yet he worried that his theory of evolution would shock many in Victorian society, even his own wife.

We have constructed our own version of "Darwin's Diary" -- a sampling of private musings and published thoughts -- to offer you an intimate look at one man's scientific insights and personal struggles.

Actor Chris Larkin portrays Darwin in "Darwin's Dangerous Idea," the first program of the PBS series Evolution. Here, he sketches a "tree of life" based on a drawing from Darwin's secret notebooks.

The events on the "Darwin's Diary" timeline fall under the following themes:

Voyage of the Beagle

Voyage of the Beagle: The five-year expedition that launched his rise to fame

Birth of a Theory

On the Origin of Species: How Darwin was led to his "dangerous idea"

Darwin's Struggle with Faith

Darwin's God: The struggle with faith that he wanted to keep private

-> Go to 1809-1825


Introduction | 1809-1825 | 1826-1829 | 1831 | 1832 | 1833 | 1835 | 1836
1837 | 1838 | 1842-1854 | 1856 | 1858-1859 | 1881 | 1882

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