The Bounty

The Bounty

The True Story of the Mutiny on the Bounty

Book - 2003
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More than two centuries have passed since Master's Mate Fletcher Christian mutinied against Lieutenant Bligh on a small, armed transport vessel called Bounty. Why the details of this obscure adventure at the end of the world remain vivid and enthralling is as intriguing as the truth behind the legend. In giving the Bounty mutiny its historical due, Caroline Alexander has chosen to frame her narrative by focusing on the court-martial of the ten mutineers who were captured in Tahiti and brought to justice in England. This fresh perspective wonderfully revivifies the entire saga, and the salty, colorful language of the captured men themselves  conjures the events of that April morning in 1789, when Christian's breakdown impelled every man on a fateful course: Bligh and his loyalists on the historic open boat voyage that revealed him to be one of history's great navigators; Christian on his restless exi≤ and the captured mutineers toward their day in court. As the book unfolds, each figure emerges as a full-blown character caught up in a drama that may well end on the gallows. And as Alexander shows, it was in a desperate fight to escape hanging that one of the accused defendants deliberately spun the mutiny into the myth we know today-of the tyrannical Lieutenant Bligh of the Bounty.   Ultimately, Alexander concludes that the Bounty mutiny was sparked by that most unpredictable, combustible, and human of situations-the chemistry between strong personalities living in close quarters. Her account of the voyage, the trial, and the surprising fates of Bligh, Christian, and the mutineers is an epic of ambition, passion, pride, and duty at the dawn of the Romantic era.
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2003
ISBN: 9780670031337
067003133X
Branch Call Number: 996.18 Al
Characteristics: 491 pages, 40 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), maps ; 25 cm

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sess430
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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