Robert Fitzroy is known as the captain of the HMS Beagle on the voyage which started Charles Darwin's development of the theory of evolution. Apart from that, all that we generally hear about Fitzroy is that he committed suicide (with the implication that this was to do with Darwin's ideas). In Fitzroy
John and Mary Gribbin tell us about the Beagle voyage, but also look at the rest of his life, showing that he was in fact much more than just 'Darwin's Captain'. This is the story of Fitzroy the original thinker, who didn't fit in well with the bureaucracy of the time.
Hence we find how, on a voyage, Fitzroy would finance something out of his own pocket, with the hope that he would be recompensed when its necessity became clear. Unfortunately he often wasn't and so had financial problems for much of his life. We hear about his governership of New Zealand, where he tried to protect the Maori rights against the landgrabbing of the new settlers, but with woefully insufficient resources. We also find that he instituted weather forecasts at the Met. Office, again struggling with officialdom. Often the wisdom of his ideas would only be recognised much later, so his successors got the glory. Fitzroy did much of note which tends to be eclipsed by the Darwin connection, and this well written book does an excellent job of making his achievements more visible.