Inception of the theory

The publication of Darwin's descriptions of the voyage of the HMS Beagle made him famous to the public.

Back in England after his almost five year voyage around the world, Darwin dropped his plans of becoming a parson. Darwin was now convinced that he wanted to pursue a scientific career. His Cambridge mentor, John Stevens Henslow, had collected the material Darwin had sent back to England during his voyage. Henslow had made great efforts to make the many finds known in scientific circles, and Darwin therefore returned home already quite the celebrity.

He had a lot of material to work with, but neither the time nor the qualifications to study it all himself. A large portion of the collection was therefore distributed amongst some of the leading experts, who began working on the material. Darwin found new scientific contacts and began the extensive work of getting the findings published. He was financially independent and did not need to find a job, which made it possible for him to spend all his time on his studies.

Peter C. Kjærgaard