Myths and Realities
This book makes a significant contribution to the study of the historical circumstances around the exploration and colonisation of Patagonia, as well as the subsequent cultural, political and economic outcomes.
Patience A. Schell - The Importance of Being Friendly: Charles Darwin and Robert FitzRoy in Patagonia 57
Patience A. Schell The Importance of Being Friendly: Charles Darwin and Robert FitzRoy in Patagonia During the nineteenth century, homosocial friendships were integral to male emotional lives. The second voyage of the Beagle (1831–1836), so well documented through published and archival sources, offers an opportun- ity to examine how friendships were made and displayed as well as their function in experiences of travel and exploration. While studies of travel writing have become a lively field within Latin American studies, as the subdiscipline has its origins in literary analysis, work generally focuses on close analysis of one text and topics such as narrative strategies or the rela- tionship to the landscape.1 This approach has been productive in opening up to scholarly study a whole genre of source material that has been, until recently, little addressed by historians. Yet the richness and diversity of materials in travel literature offer scope for many more lines of enquiry, including the history of friendship. This chapter shows how relationships among and between explorers created an informal structure that provided emotional satisfaction as well as the practical support necessary to achieve personal and official goals. It was friendship that brought Robert FitzRoy (1805–1865) and Charles Darwin (1809–1882) to the tip of South America. Darwin, a recent Cam- bridge arts graduate, ended up on board the Beagle as its unofficial naturalist because Captain Robert FitzRoy sought the company of an equal. FitzRoy, about to return South America in charge of H.M.S. Beagle, wanted a...
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