Bligh : William Bligh in the South Seas

by Salmond, Anne.

Format: Print Book 2011
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
Penn Hills Library Non-Fiction 92 BLIGH
Location  Penn Hills Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  92 BLIGH
In Bligh , the story of the most notorious of all Pacific explorers is told through a new lens as a key episode in the history of the world, rather than simply of the West. Award-winning anthropologist Anne Salmond recounts with a fresh perspective the triumphs and disasters of William Bligh's life in a riveting narrative that for the first time portrays the Pacific islanders as players. Beginning in 1777, when Bligh, at twenty-two, first arrived in Tahiti with Captain Cook, Salmond charts Bligh's three Pacific voyages--and tells how they transformed lives on the islands as well as on board the ships and back in Europe. She sheds new insight into the mutiny aboard the Bounty--and on Bligh's remarkable 3,000-mile journey across the Pacific in a small boat--through revelations from the raw, unguarded letters between him and his wife Betsy. This beautifully told story reveals Bligh for the first time, as an important ethnographer adding to the paradoxical legacy of this famed seaman, and it captures more definitively than ever the excitement, drama, and terror of these events.
Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "For dramatic tension and tragic heroism, few tales of the high seas can match the mutiny on the Bounty. Novelists and screenwriters have kept busy for two centuries imagining and reimagining the fateful showdown-between William Bligh, the tyrannical captain, and Fletcher Christian, his long-suffering lieutenant-that occurred in 1789 in the middle of the South Pacific. In this engrossing cultural biography, Salmond (Aphrodite's Island: The European Discovery of Tahiti) agrees with the scholarly consensus that Bligh has been badly misrepresented in popular culture. A passionate man subject to what fellow sailor George Tobin called "violent tornados of temper," he was nobody's ideal of an enlightened executive, but neither was he worse than the average sea captain of his day. Fletcher Christian-far from the tortured victim portrayed by Clark Gable or Marlon Brando-appears here as a petty schemer who preferred whiling his time away on Tahitian beaches to obeying the harsh discipline of the British navy. A professor of Maori Studies in New Zealand, Salmond's real concern, however, is not to retrace these familiar narratives but to "illuminate the Island world" of Tahitian politics and culture that had previously served merely as an exotic backdrop to the main story. "This is an episode in the history of the world, not simply the history of the West;" she writes, "and the Pacific protagonists were as real as their British counterparts, helping to shape what happened." Maps and illus. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Bligh, William, -- 1754-1817.
Bligh, William, -- 1754-1817 -- Travel -- Pacific Ocean.
Great Britain. -- Royal Navy -- Officers -- Biography.
Admirals -- Great Britain -- Biography.
Bounty Mutiny, 1789.
Publisher Berkeley :University of California Press,2011
Edition 1st University of California Press ed.
Language English
Notes Maps on endpapers.
Description 528 pages : illustrations (some color), maps ; 24 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages [474]-514) and index.
ISBN 9780520270565 (cloth : alk. paper)
0520270568 (cloth : alk. paper)
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