Mr Darwin's Fishes

The Exhibition

Mr. Darwin’s Fishes was displayed in the Jenyns room in 2009 as part of BRLSI’s very successful Darwin and Beyond programme, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species (24 November 1859) and the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth (12 February 1809). Leonard Jenyns, who later in his life settled in Bath and was intimately connected with BRLSI, was invited to undertake the voyage aboard HMS Beagle prior to Charles Darwin. Jenyns reluctantly refused the opportunity and the rest is history! Darwin collected numerous fish specimens on his voyage aboard HMS Beagle and on his return they were described by his lifelong friend, Jenyns.

Jump to a list of contents by clicking here.

The Film

The exhibition included this half hour long film featuring type specimens from the collection of the Natural History Museum in London, collected by Charles Darwin on his voyage aboard HMS Beagle and described by his lifelong friend Leonard Jenyns. The script is made up from extracts from Darwin’s notebooks and letters, and Jenyns’ book ‘The Fishes of the Voyage of the Beagle’.


Voice of Darwin by Paul Creswell

Voice of Jenyns by Paul Humpoletz

Sound recorded by Adrian Tuddenham

Audio post-production by Jack Pirie

Written and researched by Jude Harris

Produced by Matt Williams

Filmed and edited by Paul Phillip Green

With thanks to Oliver Crimmen and the Natural History Museum, London


List of Contents; Jump directly to a particular section by following the links below. 

1. Jenyns, Darwin, and Henslow

2. Beetle Mania

3. Naturalist on the Beagle

4. Fish from the Beagle

5. The Diodon

6. Tales from the Beagle

7. Peservation of Species

8. Jenyns’s Fishy Problem

9. Pictures on Stone

10. It took me a long while to complete…

11. Lifelong Friends