Every year a quarter of a million well-healed, well-read travellers take theholiday of a lifetime to the Galapagos. To feed the book-buyers on thisannual pilgrimage, there are a lot of beautifully illustrated guides to thefauna of the islands on the shelves, but very little about the scurrilous human adventurers who also passed this way. John Hickman presents an intriguing cast of characters, from Incas to whalers, pirates to Robinson Crusoes, the original Swiss Family Robinson and the revered Charles Darwin.

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