The Bounty

The Bounty

The True Story of the Mutiny on the Bounty

Book - 2003
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Baker & Taylor
An account of the actual events surrounding the legendary conflict aboard the HMS Bounty focuses on the court-martial of its ten mutineers, citing the breakdown and exile of Master's Mate Fletcher Christian and Lieutenant Bligh's navigation talents. 250,000 first printing. First serial, The New Yorker.

Blackwell North Amer
Just before sunrise on the morning of April 28, 1789, in the far reaches of the South Pacific. Master's Mate Fletcher Christian and three other men, armed with cutlasses, bayonets and a musket, apprehended Lieutenant William Bligh and placed him and eighteen officers and crewmen in a small boat. This mutiny on board His Majesty's armed transport Bounty impelled every man on a fateful course - Bligh and his loyalists on a historic boat voyage. Christian and his followers on their restless exile. Bligh himself returned to Britain as a hero, but that was not his final destiny. Ten of the Bounty's crew were eventually captured in Tahiti and brought back to England in irons to face their day in court and it was in the dynamics and politics of their court-martial and its aftermath that the story we know - or think we know - as the mutiny on the Bounty was shaped.
The facts of the mutiny itself are told in Admiralty records, but for the truth behind the story Alexander has ranged further, gleaning details from the wills, diaries and correspondence of figures not obviously connected to the events, from obscure news items and from the biographies and family pedigrees of seemingly minor players. She casts a radical new light on the events, on Bligh's character and on a welter of family connections and special interests that play crucial roles at different moments in the story. Using contemporary accounts, and particularly the mutineers' own testimony, she allows the men themselves to conjure the events and transport the reader back to the deck of the Bounty, to exotic islands in the South Pacific and to the back rooms of British naval power. Only when we look at the whole story, from before the Bounty left England until well after the death of the last participant, do we understand what happened and why.

& Taylor

An account of the events surrounding the conflict aboard the HMS Bounty focuses on the court-martial of its ten mutineers, citing the breakdown and exile of Fletcher Christian and Lieutenant Bligh's navigation talents.

Publisher: New York : Viking, 2003
ISBN: 9780670031337
Branch Call Number: 996.18 Alexander 2003
Characteristics: 491 pages, 40 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm


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SPPL_János Mar 21, 2018

This thoroughly researched account of Lt. William Bligh and the 1789 mutiny aboard the H.M.A.V. Bounty is eminently readable. With extensive use of primary resources, Alexander reveals that contrary to popular memory, Bligh was a fair and light disciplinarian, and that the mutineers were less rebelling against his leadership than they were seduced by Tahitian culture.

Mar 05, 2014

I enjoyed this book of 410 pages about the famous mutiny. Read it if you want to learn the true story of what happened (versus the incomplete and distorted version as presented by the 1962 film starring Marlon Brando). You might find it handy to make a copy of the Ship's Company in order to refer to the names of the 44 sailors on the Bounty other than Lieutenant Bligh and Fletcher Christian. I just wish the chapter ( titled "Portsmouth") were shorter although I understand the need to detail the background of the court-martial judges. I appreciated the follow-up information about the men on the Bounty after the trials ended.


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