In 1831, when Charles Darwin joins Robert FitzRoy's HMS Beagle for a five-year voyage, the budding naturalist is a 22-year-old unknown, while the Captain is at 26 one of the brightest stars of the Royal Navy, a descendant of Charles II. By 1865, Darwin is world famous, and FitzRoy is a bitter footnote of history, known only for his role in aiding Darwin's earth-shaking observations. This is the story of these two men as their faith, ideas, and reputations clash, meld, and fight for supremacy. Told through their decades-long friendship and rivalry, each step in their journey is interlaced with powerful visions in which Darwin dreams of the many ways life might have evolved, as well as with his nightmares just before waking in the antemeridian of early morning. With Darwin's Dreams, author Sean Hoade explores the poetry of science; the nonlinear dance of imagination; and the cruelty that life can bring to even the noblest of men.