No stone is left unturned in this account of the Bounty mutineers and how Bligh's precarious character was used to secure their pardons. Debunks many of the popular myths of Bligh as a draconian slave-driver and re-examines the complicity of the mutineers.
I knew nothing about the mutiny on the Bounty when I picked up this book - except that there was one! This was a fascinating read, thoroughly researched and a gripping story, and goes some way to explaining the hold that the story has had on our collective consciousness for over 200 years now.
Caroline Alexander presents a picture of Captain Bligh that is totally unexpected, not the tyrannical monster of Hollywood movies but a talented, ambitious, and also humane man who was hoping to get through the whole voyage without ordering a flogging. One flaw in this story is that because Alexander draws a lot of her material from the Court Martial proceedings, the main opponent to Captain Bligh is one of the mutineers, Peter Heywood. Fletcher Christian was never captured, so there was no court martial and as a result, in the book there is little exploration of Fletcher Christian's motivations or actions, which was a little disappointing.
Overall, though, a thoroughly interesting and worthwhile read.
True story of a legendary muntiny on the high seas!