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by Caroline Alexander

  • ISBN: 0002572214
  • Category: Engineering
  • Author: Caroline Alexander
  • Subcategory: Engineering
  • Other formats: lrf mobi docx mbr
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; 1st edition (2003)
  • Pages: 491 pages
  • FB2 size: 1138 kb
  • EPUB size: 1600 kb
  • Rating: 4.5
  • Votes: 793
Download The Bounty: The True Story of the Mutiny on the Bounty fb2

Readers will find the true story in Caroline Alexander’s The Bounty, a fascinating book based on court testimony, diaries and other primary sources that draws a picture very different from the popular version.

Readers will find the true story in Caroline Alexander’s The Bounty, a fascinating book based on court testimony, diaries and other primary sources that draws a picture very different from the popular version. Alexander, author of the equally excellent volume The Endurance, produces a vivid narrative with psychological depth and a keen understanding of historical context.

Alexander’s core interest in the Bounty story seems to be in Bligh, as when she thus sets forth her sense of how .

Alexander’s core interest in the Bounty story seems to be in Bligh, as when she thus sets forth her sense of how Bligh’s very virtues as a commander may have contributed to the mutiny: It can be fairly said of Bligh that his great asset as a seaman was not only his unimpeachable professional skills, but his unshakable, complacent, immodest confidence in them. Being a real Bounty fan, I found this a very good and extremely well documented (20% of the book is bibliography) story of what happened not only on the Bounty, but to the participants from all perspectives.

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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.

Already she was hailed by throngs of canoes; and when Bligh called out that he had come from Britain, or Pretanee, the delighted islanders swarmed onto the ship, and in ten Minutes, wrote Bligh,. I could scarce find my own people. The old-timers-Nelson, the gardener, William Peckover, the gunner, Armorer Joseph Coleman and Bligh himself-greeted and were greeted with warm recognition

Caroline Alexander focusses on the court martial of the ten mutineers captured in Tahiti and brought to justice in Portsmouth. With enormous scholarship and exquisitely drawn characters, The Bounty is a tour de force.

Caroline Alexander focusses on the court martial of the ten mutineers captured in Tahiti and brought to justice in Portsmouth. Each figure emerges as a richly drawn character caught up in a drama that may well end on the gallows. Note that it has not been possible to include the same picture content that appeared in the original print version. To read this book, upload an EPUB or FB2 file to Bookmate.

This mutiny on board His Majesty's armed transport Bounty impelled every man on a fateful course - Bligh and . 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.

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.

The mutiny on the Royal Navy vessel HMS Bounty occurred in the south Pacific on 28 April 1789

The mutiny on the Royal Navy vessel HMS Bounty occurred in the south Pacific on 28 April 1789. Disaffected crewmen, led by Acting Lieutenant Fletcher Christian, seized control of the ship from their captain Lieutenant William Bligh and set him and 18 loyalists adrift in the ship's open launch. The mutineers variously settled on Tahiti or on Pitcairn Island

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The Bounty - Caroline Alexander. Peter Heywood, former midshipman on the Bounty, had been only a few weeks short of seventeen on the morning the mutiny had broken out and his close friend and distant relative Fletcher Christian had taken the ship. At Christian’s command, Lieutenant Bligh and eighteen loyalists had been compelled to go overboard into one of the Bounty’s small boats, where they had been left, bobbing in the wide Pacific, to certain death. Fletcher Christian’s control of the mutineers was to last no more than five months.

The Bounty: The True Story of the Mutiny on the Bounty
Reviews about The Bounty: The True Story of the Mutiny on the Bounty (7):
Xwnaydan
The Bounty still sails, maintaining its place in the popular imagination. It wasn’t much of a ship, really – an ordinary three-masted merchant vessel – but it ranks with Jason of Thessaly’s Argo among those ships that have entered the realm of myth. It is the centerpiece of an epic story of love, adventure, conflict, survival, and of course mutiny. And the reader who wants a truly thorough recounting of the saga of the Bounty would do well to consult Caroline Alexander’s "The Bounty" (2003).

Alexander’s interest in maritime history is demonstrated by her earlier book "The Endurance" (1998), a look at Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctic expedition of 1914. Five years later, as she sought to set forth "The True Story of the Mutiny on the Bounty" (the book’s subtitle), she followed in the footsteps of earlier Bounty historians like Richard Hough, whose "Captain Bligh and Mister Christian" (1973) first set forth the revisionist thesis that perhaps William Bligh was not such a villain, and Fletcher Christian not such a saint. Alexander’s book differs from Hough’s chiefly in the sheer level of detail with which she dedicates herself to the task of finding out what happened to every single person who was on the Bounty on 28 April 1789, whether loyalist or mutineer.

In Alexander’s reading, Bligh is a commander whose “fundamental humanity” (p. 129) makes him the superior even of the famed Captain Cook. If he displayed a flaw in his command of the Bounty, it was in the favoritism that he displayed toward two young officers – Master’s Mate Fletcher Christian, and Midshipman Peter Heywood, both of whom later played crucial roles in the Bounty story.

I was surprised that Alexander dispensed with the actual mutiny on the Bounty as quickly as she did – not quite three pages, out of a book that is 410 pages long (not counting references). Yet she sets forth well the astounding saga of Captain Bligh’s open-boat voyage with the Bounty loyalists – 3500 miles, from Tofua (in modern Tonga) to Coupang (a port of contemporary Indonesia). It is difficult to take issue with Alexander’s assessment of Bligh’s achievement: “As an almost sublime record of extreme suffering and undaunted resolution, few documents can compare with the log William Bligh kept in the Bounty’s launch” (p. 150).

Alexander’s core interest in the Bounty story seems to be in Bligh, as when she thus sets forth her sense of how Bligh’s very virtues as a commander may have contributed to the mutiny:

“It can be fairly said of Bligh that his great asset as a seaman was not only his unimpeachable professional skills, but his unshakable, complacent, immodest confidence in them. This confidence – the wellspring of his professional optimism, and indeed his courage – was what had enabled him successfully to command the Bounty launch on the most historic open-boat voyage yet made. This confidence in turn sprang from a relentless perfectionism, an unwavering and exacting adherence to the strictest letter of the laws of his duty. The gift of perfectionism and all that flowed from it was what Bligh sought to instill in his protégés. However, it may be that the very specialness of his relationship with these chosen young men was the weight that crushed them” (p. 315).

Captain Bligh was lauded as a hero, a navigator for the ages, when word of his successful open-boat voyage made it home to England; the Bounty mutineers, by contrast, were regarded as lawless renegades rising up against legitimate authority, the way mutineers are usually regarded. What, then, caused the sea change through which Fletcher Christian became, in the popular mind, the hero of the Bounty saga, William Bligh the villain? The wealthy and well-connected families of “gentlemen” Peter Heywood and Fletcher Christian had means, motive, and opportunity for discrediting Bligh, and worked hard to rework the Bounty narrative in British popular culture.

Bligh, meanwhile, does not seem to have fully understood what he was up against. “While Bligh had defended himself in crisp, logical naval fashion, he failed to comprehend that he was doing battle with a force more formidable and unassailable than any enemy he would meet at sea – the power of a good story” (p. 343). The Bounty saga unfolded as the Romantic Age began; and Bligh’s eminently neoclassical marshalling of facts, reason, and logic was no match for a mythologized Fletcher Christian as “the perfect Romantic hero – the tortured master’s mate, his long hair loose, his shirt collar open…with his gentlemanly pedigree and almost mythic name” (p. 344).

At the same time, Alexander offers a fair-minded assessment of Fletcher Christian and Peter Heywood, the two best-known mutineers. Peter Heywood, convicted of mutiny and sentenced to hang, received a reprieve from King George III, and made the most of the monarch’s clemency, rejoining the Royal Navy and serving honourably for the rest of his professional career. Alexander’s judicious assessment is that “On balance…in [Heywood’s] case, justice could be said to have been fairly served; he had been found guilty, but had been pardoned to redeem himself – which he had done with, it would seem, penitence and humility. But others had been hanged – and there was the rub” (p. 398).

As for Fletcher Christian, Alexander likewise offers a careful mix of sympathy and criticism: “What caused the mutiny on the Bounty? The seductions of Tahiti, Bligh’s harsh tongue – perhaps. But more compellingly, a night of drinking and a proud man’s pride, a low moment on one grey dawn, a momentary and fatal slip in a gentleman’s code of discipline – and then the rush of consequences to be lived out for a lifetime” (p. 407). In Alexander’s assessment of Fletcher Christian’s actions on that crucial day, I saw an implicit suggestion that anyone could fall as Fletcher Christian fell – indeed, as we all know that many people have fallen.

I read "The Bounty" while traveling in Tahiti. Looking out over Matavai Bay, I imagined the Bounty anchored there, its white sails billowing in the wind, Tahitians rowing or swimming out to greet their British visitors – with no one there even imagining that the ship would become immortal as the site of history’s most notorious mutiny. With helpful maps of the areas covered by the Bounty’s voyages, both pre- and post-mutiny, and illustrations that include portraits of the principal figures in the Bounty story, Caroline Alexander’s "The Bounty" provides a fine and useful look at the Bounty saga.
funike
This very detailed account of the events before, during, and long after the "mutiny" is en example of the gray middle in life. The heroes and villains are not clearly evident - just ordinary people with human flaws. Captain Bligh and Fletcher Christian were certainly not Charles Laughton and Clark Gable.

The details surrounding the lives of the players in this story, and the description of life on and off British naval ships during the relevant years helps shows the context of the story in crystal clarity.

If there was any true villain, it would appear to be Captain Edwards of the Pandora.

The only criticism of the book is perhaps not even a fair one, in that it was so difficult to keep some of the names straight. (Did he stay with Bligh? Did he stay on Tahiti? Did he go to Pitcairn? etc.). That the telling is so detailed is the reason for all of the names, and the author should not be faulted for that.

I finished the book believing that I now know all that there is to be known about this famous incident at sea.
Painshade
The Bounty by Caroline Alexander is a very well researched work with many quotes from many different sources. However, much of the book is a tedious read. A relatively small portion is about the voyage, the time in Tahiti, and the mutiny while much of it is about the trials of the alleged mutineers as well as life after the mutiny. In addition, many of the quotes are in old English and difficult to understand. Nevertheless, I learned several factors about this story that I had not known before.
Inerrace
I read this book, Kindle version, on my recent vacation to the Polynesian Islands. We actually stayed at the Hilton Pearl Beach Resort on Mativa Bay, near where Bligh and his men had set up their Breadfruit nursery on the shores of the island of Tahiti. It was very exciting to read this research and account of the voyage to and on the island. What made the book even more interesting was the deep dive into the background stories of all the major, and even minor players. Also interesting to read about the many ships stopping at Pitcarin Island to visit Smith/Adams, and what happened to all of the survivors and mutineers in the decades that followed the mutiny. The author made the characters come alive for me, and separated out the documented facts from the myths and legends. Great book for anyone interested in the story and enjoys well written history. I also got to eat Breadfruit, baked in the coals for about 45 minutes, on Moorea. Tasted like doughy bread! You can't read about the history of the Bounty without seeing the actual breadfruit trees, and getting to actually eat it while reading this book was a bonus!
White gold
After rereading the justly famous Mutiny on the Bounty Trilogy, I read Caroline's factual account of perhaps the world's most famous mutiny. This nonfiction account provides details, both before and after the mutiny. Fascinating as they what really happened as well as background to the events and a biography of all the participants and their relatives. A true account especially useful to those who want more information than the famous trilogy provides.
Balhala
I have to give five stars to a history book so wide-ranging and well researched, but I have some problems with it. The order of the chapters defies ordinary chronology and logic, with "Pandora" coming before "Bounty" for example. The documentation is not the old-fashioned exact kind, so it is often very hard to tell exactly where which piece of information or quotation came from. Finally, she gives much evidence about certain important matters, but holds back from making judgments. What she says about Peter Heywood, to mention the most obvious case, is damning, but she never offers her opinion on whether he took part in the mutiny. See my review of "Awake, Bold Bligh," for a real opinion..

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