Based on the true story of Syms Covington, manservant to Charles Darwin on the famous voyage of the "Beagle" this is a novel of scientific discovery, religious faith, masters and servants, ambition and adventure, and the endless wonder of the natural world.
In beset middle age, Covington awaits the arrival of the first copy of Darwin's 'The Origin of the Species' in Sydney's Watson's Bay. What part of his life might be in it? What truths may it contain?
Earthy, insightful and beautifully written, 'Mr Darwin's Shooter' is captivating tale of 19th-century exploration and the conflict between science and religion. Skilfully juxtaposing parallel narratives set (at first) thirty years apart, it is the story of Darwin's servant, amanuensis and 'shooter', Simon (Syms) Covington and his intellectual and sexual maturing. It's a captivating seafarer's tale rich in period details and insight into relations among men.
Winner of the 1999 NSW Premier's Award for Fiction.