by Matthew Cobb
There are a number of famous folk on Twitter, tweeting their diaries. I was particularly sad when Sam Pepys (@samuelpepys) came to the end of his diary back in May; Robert Hooke is currently tweeting his bizarre take on life in 1670s London, and is highly recommended (@HookesLondon).
In 2009 – Darwin’s bicentenary – Darwin (a.k.a. David Jones, to break the spell) started tweeting the Voyage of the Beagle, in real time (@cdarwin) – he began a year into the voyage, using content from the Beagle Diary, along with other journals, notes, essays, letters and books to fill in when Darwin “wasn’t too productive”. Three years later, in early October 2012, the voyage came to an end . He (Darwin/Jones) asked people what he should do, and everyone said, “start all over again”, which is what he has done.
Darwin’s Twitter biography reads: “Geologist, naturalist and gentleman. On board The Beagle with Capt Fitzroy on a voyage around the world”. His first tweet was last week, 20 October, 1831: “Went on board” (don’t worry, it gets better).
Currently Darwin has a little under 11,000 followers. Let’s see if we can get it over the 11K mark with WEIT readers. Who knows, we might even persuade Jerry that Twitter actually serves a purpose. If you want the geeky detail of how Jones does it (sadly, he’s not sitting there tweeting each tweet day by day), he explains what’s behind the curtain here.
If you’re not on Twitter, you can just go to the Twitter page and see the latest updates. And you can also sign up for Twitter and follow @cdarwin there too.