No. 2: Charles Darwin – ‘The Beagle Has Landed’, the Evolutionist Encounters the Editor


I am discovering the most intriguing material as I archive through, cataloging the dusty old library and files of my great-great grandfather, James Thaddeus ‘Blackjack’ Fiction.  He founded Fiction House Publishing in the 1830’s and ran it for much of its over century in existence.  Though he was quite successful, hosting influential authors of the era, the two Harriet’s, Stowe, Tubman, among others, some correspondences show his literary judgments weren’t always at their best,

Dear Charles,

Love the ‘Voyage’ angle.  But, Gal-op-ogus?  Who could even pronounce it?  Instead, how about a cruise to the Virgin!!! Islands.  Just the anticipating of the romantic or illicit content could really build your readership base for future books.  Just think about it, will you Charlie.


Your Publisher……

Dear Herman,

Lose the whale and the surf.  Stick to the turf.


Possibly your former Publisher…..

Though lacking the shelf life of Melville’s or Darwin’s later works, The Fiction House’s Travels with Moby, and The Beagle Has Landed, were extremely popular in their day.

Join me in my journey as I unearth the works, papers, and letters of some of America’s literary giants, best sellers, and mid-listers.

Thank you—Raji Singh.

NEXT TIME:        ‘Tediously going through ages-old notes on faded scraps of paper, edited, re-edited books that never saw the light of day, collating, archiving – what drudgery – then I found it, the thing that made it all worthwhile – The Darwin Letters.’

“Dear Charles,” began THE literary romance of the century…

About Raji Singh

I am a writer, a foundling anchored by tale-telling and imagination. Read my history in Tales of the Fiction House, available at and Barnes & Noble (This is a portrait of my great-great grandfather. He's a handsome devil and I am his spitting image.)
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1 Response to No. 2: Charles Darwin – ‘The Beagle Has Landed’, the Evolutionist Encounters the Editor

  1. Char says:

    Congratulations!! I just bought my copy. Can’t wait to read it cover-to-cover.

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