On 28th April 1789 a small and unremarkable merchant vessel became one of the most famous ships in maritime history. HMS Bounty was under the command of 34-year-old Lieutenant William Bligh, an inexperienced commander who lacked the respect of a crew attracted to the promise of an easy life in a Tahitian paradise.

Fletcher Christian led half the crew in mutiny against Bligh and after overpowering all resistance, they cast their deposed captain adrift along with those still loyal to him. Luckily for Bligh, his skills as a navigator were better than his skills as a captain and he managed to sail the 23ft boat 3,618 nautical miles to Timor in the Dutch East Indies with no chart or compass, and only a quadrant and a pocket watch for navigation. On returning to England he reported what had happened, and the Royal Navy hunted down and captured most of the mutineers.

However, this is only half the story – William Bligh's version. The captured mutineers went on trial and their testimonies give a much less heroic portrait of their former captain, accusing him of unduly harsh treatment. Fletcher Christian's older brother Edward, a judge, oversaw a more balanced account of the mutiny. Of the mutineers who returned to England, only three were hanged; four were acquitted and three pardoned.

This book gives the fullest version of the mutiny, allowing Bligh's account to sit alongside those of his detractors. The discrepancies are fascinating, and allow us to make up our own minds about this infamous mutiny.

Also includes an exclusive Foreword by former World Sailor of the Year Pete Goss, who offers a unique perspective on the trials and tribulations of the Bounty's crew, whether castaway or mutineer.
The names William Bligh, Fletcher Christian, and the Bounty have excited the popular imagination for more than two hundred years. The story of this famous mutiny has many beginnings and many endings but they all intersect on an April morning in 1789 near the island known today as Tonga. That morning, William Bligh and eighteen surly seamen were expelled from the Bounty and began what would be the greatest open-boat voyage in history, sailing some 4,000 miles to safety in Timor. The mutineers led by Fletcher Christian sailed off into a mystery that has never been entirely resolved.

While the full story of what drove the men to revolt or what really transpired during the struggle may never be known, Penguin Classics has brought together-for the first time in one volume-all the relevant texts and documents related to a drama that has fascinated generations. Here is the full text of Bligh's Narrative of the Mutiny, the minutes of the court proceedings gathered by Edward Christian in an effort to clear his brother's name, and the highly polemic correspondence between Bligh and Christian-all amplified by Robert Madison's illuminating Introduction and rich selection of subsequent Bounty narratives.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
On 28th April 1789 a small and unremarkable merchant vessel became one of the most famous ships in maritime history. HMS Bounty was under the command of 34-year-old Lieutenant William Bligh, an inexperienced commander who lacked the respect of a crew attracted to the promise of an easy life in a Tahitian paradise.

Fletcher Christian led half the crew in mutiny against Bligh and after overpowering all resistance, they cast their deposed captain adrift along with those still loyal to him. Luckily for Bligh, his skills as a navigator were better than his skills as a captain and he managed to sail the 23ft boat 3,618 nautical miles to Timor in the Dutch East Indies with no chart or compass, and only a quadrant and a pocket watch for navigation. On returning to England he reported what had happened, and the Royal Navy hunted down and captured most of the mutineers.

However, this is only half the story – William Bligh's version. The captured mutineers went on trial and their testimonies give a much less heroic portrait of their former captain, accusing him of unduly harsh treatment. Fletcher Christian's older brother Edward, a judge, oversaw a more balanced account of the mutiny. Of the mutineers who returned to England, only three were hanged; four were acquitted and three pardoned.

This book gives the fullest version of the mutiny, allowing Bligh's account to sit alongside those of his detractors. The discrepancies are fascinating, and allow us to make up our own minds about this infamous mutiny.

Also includes an exclusive Foreword by former World Sailor of the Year Pete Goss, who offers a unique perspective on the trials and tribulations of the Bounty's crew, whether castaway or mutineer.
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