Author(s): John and Mary Gribbin
Admiral FitzRoy was descended from the illegitimate son of King Charles II and made his name as a captain on the HMS Beagle. It was for his second voyage on the ship (1832-36) that he decided to ask Charles Darwin to accompany him, and it was during this time that Darwin began to develop the ideas that would lead him to his theory of evolution. But there was so much more to FitzRoy than this: he was an MP, he was the second Governor of New Zealand from 1843-45 when he made himself unpopular with the settlers by upholding Maori rights, and in 1854 he set up the Meteorological Office so for the first time sailors could know what weather to expect when they set sail. John and Mary Gribbin's portrait of this multi-talented man whose impact on modern life is still felt will fascinate all who read it.