Mutiny on the Bounty
Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1932. First Edition. [FORE-EDGE PAINTING]. NORDHOFF, Charles (1878-1947). -- HALL, James Norman (1887-1951). Mutiny on the Bounty. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1932.
8vo. 20th-century blue crushed levant gilt, upper cover with central illustration of a ship in white, red and green morocco on-lay, edges gilt, concealing a FORE-EDGE PAINTING of the H.M.S. Bounty and a ship of mutineers at sea; quarter morocco gilt slipcase.
FIRST EDITION of the first work in the Bounty Trilogy, based on the 1787 mutiny in Tahiti. Throughout history, few voyages are as infamous as that of the bounty. Even before the doomed sailing, the naval exploits of Lieutenant William Bligh and his participation in the third and final voyage of Captain James Cook, were quickly becoming legend. Sailing with such a distinguished officer should have been an honour but this was not the case.
On April 28th, 1789, the HMS Bounty was taken over by disgruntled crew members, led by acting Lieutenant Fletcher Christian. The mutiny came on the heels of a lay-over in Tahiti, which lasted for months. During this time, crew members began to form relationships with locals and acclimatize to the environment. In an effort to maintain authority, Bligh began to hand out harsher punishments, which was not well received.
Tales of rebellion have always captivated audiences but it is the series of events that followed the mutiny that make Bligh's story so interesting. Following their discharge from the Bounty, Bligh and his loyalists were set adrift in a launch with a set amount of provisions. Despite making attempts to find temporary settlement on the island of Tofua, the crew was met with hostility and forced to flee. Following this near-fatal encounter, Bligh and his crew embarked on a voyage to the Dutch settlement of Timor, some 3,500 nautical miles away. This mission would allow Blight to properly chart the coastline but it would also mean drastically reducing rations among crew, which was unanimously accepted.
After a successful landing at Timor, Blight was able to return to England. Following an acquittal for the events that led to the mutiny, Bligh was appointed the title of Post-Captain and in November 1790, the HMS Pandora was launched, directed to apprehend the remaining crew members who had committed the mutiny. After capturing the remaining 14 mutineers, the Pandora ran aground on the Great Barrier Reef, sinking shortly afterward. The story of the Bounty has been retold in many editions and has gone on to inspire books, articles and films in the centuries since these events took place.
Charles Nordhoff (1887-1947) was an English-born, American novelist. Nordhoff wrote his first book The Fledgling in 1919, following his military service. After its publication, the author was commissioned by Harper's Magazine to create travel articles. After travelling to Tahiti, Nordhoff met and married a local woman and was inspired to create the Bounty Trilogy, for which Mutiny on the Bounty is the first instalment. Very Good +. Item #358
Price (USD): $3,850.00