Cherished as one of the most thrilling sea adventures ever recorded, stories of the mutiny on the H.M.S. Bounty have sold millions of copies and enthralled generations of readers around the world in the seven decades since its initial publication. Far more than a sea or adventure story, it is a splendid examination of the abuse of power and the necessity for society to maintain support for authority, no matter how greatly that authority may at times by misused. Some see Capt. Bligh as a gross tyrant who got exactly what he deserved. But at no time does the narrator of the story attempt to justify the mutiny. Others see Fletcher Christian as a romantic hero, but the narrator makes it abundantly clear that his actions in seizing the ship and endangering the entire crew were misguided, to say the least. Always there is a sound balance and a mature evaluation of the actions of all characters, including the officers of the naval court who try those accused of the mutiny. The book also presents a beautiful balance of scenes, from the harsh punishments on board the Bounty to the idyllic interlude of life in Tahiti to the appalling existence of prisoners chained hand and foot for months at a time, and from the depths of despair at a sentence of death by hanging to the dazzling strangeness of sudden freedom. Whether it is description of scene or action or feeling, the authors capture the essence of every element of the story with perfect clarity and depth. In short, this is an exceedingly well plotted and well written work of literature, which can be enjoyed by a wide range of readers, not just those who love adventure yarns.
About the Author
Sir John Barrow (1764-1848) was an English statesman.