In 1787, William Bligh, commander of the Bounty, sailed under Captain Cook on a voyage to Tahiti to collect plants of the breadfruit tree, with a view to acclimatizing the species to the West Indies. During their six-month stay on the island, his men became completely demoralized, and on the return voyage mutinied. Yet a resentful crew, coupled with ravaging storms and ruthless savages, proved to be merely stages leading up to the anxiety-charged ordeal to come. Bligh, along with 18 men, was cast adrift in an open boat only 23 feet long, with a small stock of provisions, and without a chart.
His narrative, deeply personal yet objective, documents the voyage and Bligh’s relationships to his men, and thereby exposes the oft debated question of what manner of man he really was.
Public Domain (P)2000 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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