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    Slavery, a "Scandal to Christian Nations": Charles Darwin, Augustus Earle and the compass of morality

    Thomas, Sarah (2009) Slavery, a "Scandal to Christian Nations": Charles Darwin, Augustus Earle and the compass of morality. In: Hoorn, J. (ed.) Reframing Darwin: Evolution and Art in Australia. Carlton, Australia: Melbourne University Publishing. ISBN 9780522856842.

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    When Augustus Earle was appointed Artist Supernumerary on board the Beagle in 1831, he had already travelled to all continents of the globe, and had painted a great diversity of people. Commissioned to paint the portraits of colonial aristocracies of such cities as Rio de Janeiro and Sydney, Earle was also at pains to portray those at the other end of the social spectrum: Afro-Brazilian slaves, convicts, and indigenous people. His passionate abolitionist views are revealed in paintings of Brazilian slave markets and vivid scenes of corporal punishment: at their heart lies a belief in slavery’s essential inhumanity, and in Christianity’s redemptive potential. By the time Earle met Darwin in 1831, his worldly experience had firmed his views about slavery and race. The twenty-two year old Darwin had only just finished his formal education when he was invited to join the voyage of the Beagle, and the two men became firm friends. This chapter explores the friendship between the young naturalist and the seasoned ‘wandering artist’ some sixteen years his senior, focussing in particular on some of the moral and socio-political debates which divided Britain in the early decades of the nineteenth century.


    Item Type: Book Section
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Augustus Earle, travelling artists
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Research Centres and Institutes: Nineteenth-Century Studies, Centre for
    Depositing User: Sarah Thomas
    Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2014 11:33
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:11


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