A man of faith faces a personal reckoning after working aboard HMS Beagle in this “gripping” historical novel (The Wall Street Journal).
Heading off to sea at the age of thirteen, Syms Covington became Charles Darwin’s manservant for seven years, sailing on the historic voyage of the Beagle. Their relationship was an odd one, but it furnished exactly what Darwin needed in order to complete his groundbreaking work, as Covington shot and collected hundreds of specimens which became fodder for The Origin of Species.
Now, as Darwin’s groundbreaking book is about to be published, Covington has retired to Australia in poor health—and in a state of moral crisis over his role in undermining the Christian faith that has supported him during his life. As the novel progresses, he looks back on his upbringing in Bedford, England; his coming of age and wholehearted enjoyment of the sensual pleasures available to young sailors; and his unceremonious dismissal by Darwin once the research was complete.
“A captivating seafarer’s tale rich in period detail and insight into relations among men,” Mr. Darwin’s Shooter paints a poignant and unforgettable picture of one man forging, then struggling to maintain his faith in an era when it is constantly under attack—from science, from the daily brutality of life during colonial expansion, and from one’s own cold, inexorable logic (Publishers Weekly).
“A spectacular tale of 19th-century exploration and the conflict between science and religion, all based on Charles Darwin’s famous voyage of discovery . . . Brilliant.” —Kirkus Reviews