William Bligh in the South Seas

Book - 2011
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"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 boa--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." --Publisher's website.
Publisher: Berkeley : University of California Press, 2011
Edition: 1st University of California Press ed
ISBN: 9780520270565
Branch Call Number: 996.18 B618s 2011
Characteristics: 528 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. (some col.), maps ; 24 cm
Alternative Title: William Bligh in the South Seas


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Apr 30, 2016

With regard to the review above from the Library Journal, the one word I would not use to describe this book is 'riveting'.

The research is phenomenal and the writing is excellent but the amount of detail is staggering, to the point of exhaustion. The book seems to trace the narrative arc of every single pig and breadfruit. The careers of individual garments are traced around Tahiti.

As a study of the Pacific islanders' life and culture it has great worth. For a more casual reader, like myself, it is oppressively tedious in places.

Dec 12, 2013

See also: "Men Against the Sea" by Charles Nordhoff 1887-1947 and James Norman Hall 1887-1951 First hc edition Little, Brown and Company 1934. "Follows Mutiny on the Bounty" and precedes "Pitcairn's Island" in the "Bounty" historical novel trilogy. In the EPL catalogue under "Adult fiction – Historical", 1 copy, call number "COR"


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