The best-known sea story of all time is brought to vivid life in an immaculate and rigorously researched history by the best-selling author of The Endurance. This is the first ever history of the mutiny aboard HMS Bounty.
Of all the sea tales told down the ages, none has held its mystique so long as the mutiny on board HM Bounty. The enmity of the young, headstrong Master's Mate Fletcher Christian for his captain, William Bligh, still remains mystifying. Christian's rash and uncharacteristic usurpation of power on an April morning two hundred years ago, made him a fugitive for the rest of his life.
Dragged along with him, willingly or not, were ten men who were eventually brought to justice and forced to stand trial in England for Christian's deed. Caroline Alexander's stunning new book is the first general non-fiction account. Told through the trial of the ten mutineers, Alexander uses the language of the mutineers – rough, salty and piratical – to bring them alive in the text. As each man conjures the events, the reader is transported back to the South Pacific, to the creaking deck of the Bounty and to Tahiti.
A central strand of the story is Bligh's extraordinary 3,000 mile voyage in a long-boat, where his discipline and self-will ensure that the entire crew (the men who remained loyal to him) survives with only starvation rations.The mutineers meant them to die a slow, terrible death in Pacific waters. Fletcher Christian's fate, the capture of the mutineers, their harsh voyage back to England and what awaits them there – are all given fresh interpretation. The book breaks down the myth surrounding Fletcher Christian, while Captain Bligh is reinstated as a hero.
As the story unfolds, a unique picture of London and Plymouth in the turbulent years between 1789 and 1793 comes to light. The popular press, so vital in telling the story of the mutiny to the nation, is in its infancy, revolution is in the air, and poets give words to national feeling. Alexander uses this vivid archive material to give her history the texture of a novel.
Alexander's The Endurance sparked off the unabating interest in Shackleton. We aim to do the same with The Bounty.
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Few episodes in the history of British sea-faring are as gripping and sensational as The Bounty--an account of a mutiny of 1789. While the French were having a revolution in Paris, in the South Pacific a very English coup took place when Master's mate Fletcher Christian deposed Captain Bligh, the ruler of his ship, and set off with his fellow mutineers for a new life in the paradise of Tahiti. The tale has all the ingredients of an adventure--Robinson Crusoe, Captain Cook, Robert Louis Stevenson and Lord of the Flies all rolled into one. And, as Caroline Alexander points out, myth and legend have often got in the way of the real truth of why the mutiny took place. She sets out to find out what really happened, and does so by not only reconstructing the fateful voyage of the ship, but also by focusing in on all the principal and minor characters in the drama.
The trouble with this book is that there seems to be too many different tales to tell and the author struggles to keep up with her narrative. Like a lost ship we set sail in one direction only to back-track and recover the same course over again. The promised treasure--why Christian really did it--is never found. Readers wanting a clearer and simpler chart might be better advised to read Captain Bligh's own famous account, and Edward Christian's defence of his brother The Bounty Mutiny and then follow-up with Greg Dening's book, Mr Bligh's Bad Language. --Miles TaylorReview:
Blending a smooth interpretation of events with primary-source material, Alexander profiles history's most famous mutiny in the same stylish manner she brought to Shackleton's Antarctic expedition (The Endurance, 1998, etc.). There's no dearth of original material to work from when piecing together what happened aboard the Bounty in 1789, when Fletcher Christian and a small band of men staged a mutiny against Captain William Bligh, and Alexander has harvested all the best of it: admiralty papers, personal letters, Bligh's logs, wills, memoirs, diaries, and even "correspondence of figures not obviously connected to events, obscure news items, and the biographies and family pedigrees of seemingly minor players." The author re-creates the crew's capture on Tahiti and the courts-martial of Bligh and the others, with their contradictory evidence and clashes of will. Considering the surfeit of interpretations, it's not surprising when Alexander concedes that "exactly why, or precisely when Christian had begun to succumb to the pressure of serving under his irascible commander is impossible to ascertain." She offers fascinating and credible explanations for the rise of the Fletcher Christian myth, and the devolution of Bligh to join the ranks of Quisling and Legree; in one scenario, Bligh's breadfruit mission was intended to supply cheap food for slaves in the West Indies, and Abolitionists created in Christian "a young gentleman who, 'agonized by unprovoked and incessant abuse and disgrace,' stood up for his natural rights and overthrew the oppressive tyrant." The discovery, years later, of the families of the mutineers on Pitcairn Island added further grist to the Romantic mill. A great sea story ("surpassed, perhaps, only by the Odyssey," the author remarks), handled with dexterity to capture characters and circumstances with faithfulness to the record and a steady feeling of anticipation for history in the making. (32 pp. illustrations, not seen) (Kirkus Reviews)
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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: Good. The book has been read but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact and the cover is intact. Some minor wear to the spine. Bookseller Inventory # GOR004706699
Book Description Harper Collins, 2003. Soft Cover. Book Condition: Very Good Minus. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good Minus. 1st. Blue and white paperback with blue and yellow lettering. Edges worn, particularly bottom edge. Top of spine worn. Internally bright and clean. Unusually, has dust jacket, which is similar to cover; worn at edges. Yellow stain to front of D/J. When securely packed this item will weigh in the region of 606g. The quoted postage for international orders is based on a standard book weight. Where a book is lighter, we will reduce the postage accordingly. If the book is heavier, we will request additional postage. We make no profit on postal charges. All our books are photographed so you can see what you are buying. ABE may, however, display a stock image whilst processing ours. (YBP Ref: 3319/47 1-H2) Size: 8vo - over 73/4" - 93/4" Tall. Bookseller Inventory # 011935
Book Description Harper Collins, London, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: Fine. Reprint. 491 pages. Book appears to have hardly been read and is in Fine condition throughout. The True Story Of The Mutiny On The Bounty. Bookseller Inventory # 117780
Book Description HarperCollins, London 2003, 2003. 23.0 x 15.0cms, 492pp, b/w & colour illusts, very good paperback (tanned paper) This is 'the definitive account of Fletcher Christian's mutiny against Lieutenant William Bligh casting 'radical new light on the mutiny, Bligh's character and the family connections and special interests that shaped the events. Bookseller Inventory # 130770
Book Description Book Condition: Good. This item is in good condition. All pages and covers are readable. There are no stains or tears. Dust jacket is present if applicable. May contain small amounts of writing and/or highlighting. Spine and cover may show signs of wear. May not contain supplementary items. We ship within 1 business day. Bookseller Inventory # 34FDOT003YXC
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Canada, Limited, Scarborough, ON, Canada, 2003. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. 2nd Edition. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. 491pp, Harper Collins, London, 2003, 2nd Ed, The true story of the Mutiny on the Bounty, colour and B & W photos and reproductions, maps, pictorial cardcover, excellent condition except slightly crincled corners. Bookseller Inventory # 002366
Book Description HarperCollins, London, 2003. Soft Cover. Book Condition: Very Good. 491pp. Illustrated. Size: 4to - over6"x9" tall(Thick). Book. Bookseller Inventory # PAC038
Book Description Harper Collins, London, 2003. Trade Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Reprint. More than two centuries after Master's Mate Fletcher Christian led a mutiny against Lieutenant William Bligh on a small, armed transport vessel called Bounty, the true story of this enthralling adventure has become obscured by the legend. Combining vivid characterization and deft storytelling, Caroline Alexander shatters the centuries-old myths surrounding this story. She brilliantly shows how, in a desperate attempt to save one man from the gallows and another from ignominy, two powerful families came together and began to create the version of history we know today. The true story of the mutiny on the Bounty is an epic of duty and heroism, pride and power, and the assassination of a brave man?s honor at the dawn of the Romantic age. Review: Surely this exhaustingly-researched, enthralling and enthusiastically-written tome is the last word on the most famous of all seafaring mutinies, that of shipmate Fletcher Christian and against Lieutenant Bligh on the Bounty. More than 200 years have gone by since the ship left England after dreadful weather kept it harbored for months, on its mission to transport breadfruit from Tahiti to the West Indies. The mutiny in Tahiti left the mutineers scattered about the paradisiacal islands and found Bligh and 18 of his loyal crew members set adrift in a 23-foot open boat. Bligh, who'd served as Capt. James Cook's sailing master, fantastically maneuvered the crew on a 48-day, 3,600-mile journey to safety. Caroline Alexander, author of The Endurance, is never in over her head even when weaving together densely twisting narratives, or explaining the unwritten rules of the Royal Navy, of the complexities of class and hierarchy that impelled much of what happened aboard the Bounty. The book centers far more on the effort to round up the mutineers than the actual mutiny itself. The book is enlivened by the colorful commentary of the crew members themselves, gleaned from letters and court documents. Alexander does us all the favor of presenting Bligh the way he was understood and received in his day--as a brilliant navigator who, when placed in context, was not a brutal task-master at all. She roots the tyrannical figure we know so well from the movies on the last-ditch efforts of one well-connected crew member to save his own hide from hanging. --Mike McGonigal'. BOOK DETAILS:The contents are clean, tight and sound throughout. The card covers are clean and unmarked, with only minimal wear.The lettering on the spine is clear and bright. No signs of previous ownership (no previous ownership inscriptions). Book has appearance of only minimal use. A very attractive/desirable copy. Illustrated. 491pp. (incl. index). The unpacked weight of this book is approx. 765gm. (Please note: books that weigh over 1kg. (1000g) when packed will automatically exceed the quoted postage rate to overseas destinations). This BOOK IS IN STOCK and READY TO MAIL NOW. Your book when ordered will be securely packed and promptly dispatched by The Book Collector (Established: 1993). ***Prompt professional service - satisfaction guaranteed.*** Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 11597
Book Description Penguin, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Good condition, some are ex-library and can have markings. Bookseller Inventory # GD-258-43-9105009