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This is the story of the man without whom the name Charles Darwin might be unknown to us today. That man was Captain Robert FitzRoy, who invited the 22-year-old Darwin to be his companion on board the Beagle. This is the remarkable story of how a misguided decision by Robert FitzRoy, captain of HMS Beagle, precipitated his employment of a young naturalist named Charles Darwin, and how the clash between FitzRoy' s fundamentalist views and Darwin' s discoveries led to FitzRoy' s descent into the abyss. One of the great ironies of history is that the famous journey— wherein Charles Darwin consolidated the earth-rattling ' origin of the species' discoveries— was conceived by another man: Robert FitzRoy. It was FitzRoy who chose Darwin for the journey— not because of Darwin' s scientific expertise, but because he seemed a suitable companion to help FitzRoy fight back the mental illness that had plagued his family for generations. Darwin did not give FitzRoy solace; indeed, the clash between the two men' s opposing views, together with the ramifications of Darwin' s revelations, provided FitzRoy with the final unendurable torment that forced him to end his own life.