OXFORD—Shedding light on the naturalist’s thought process during his formative years, new journals released Monday by researchers at Oxford University revealed Charles Darwin’s earliest observations began as research for a finch-based fantasy series. “Originally, Darwin embarked on his voyage aboard the HMS Beagle to gather information for a planned high fantasy tale called The Finches Of Avaria,” said historian Peter Wentworth, describing how Darwin spent hours on his historic journey sketching green warblers in wizard hats alongside maps of the Greater Avaria Kingdom, and diagraming out the 18 Ancient Schools of Passerine Magic that would be united by one remarkable young bird named Philip Greenfinch. “Based on these journals, Darwin became increasingly enthusiastic about creating a mythos wherein every island of birds—whether from the Ice Realm or the Dominion of Dark Flight—traced their origin back to an ancient mythical deity known only as Mother Finch. Of course, all of this comes to a climax in the Battle of Seeds in book five, which feature the finches uniting in an epic battle against the nefarious Galapgus and his giant tortoises to save their realm from ruin.” Wentworth added that after The Origin Of Species failed to convince any publishers to move forward with the fantasy series, Darwin wrote several dejected diary entries suggesting that he considered his entire life a disappointment.
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