The Bounty by Caroline Alexander

Brendan’s Alternate Tagline: All of this over a plant.

Quick synopsis: The story of the mutiny on the Bounty in 1789 in the middle of the South Pacific.

Fun Fact Non-History People Will Like: The mutineers who ended up at Pitcairn Island created a society that today comes from only 4 family lines on the entire island. Why only 4? Read the book, dude.

Fun Fact for History Nerds: When some of the crew were jettisoned, Captain Bligh captained his open boat and the survivors 4,000 miles to safety. Ask any sailor, it’s one of the most amazing feats of sailing ever.

My Take: This is what happens when you give your people too much time off in Tahiti.

It all started innocently enough. The Bounty was bound for the South Pacific in order to collect breadfruit plants to transport them to the West Indies. It was thought they would grow well there and become a profitable endeavor. An able sailor was chosen to lead this mission, Lt. William Bligh. Wait, shouldn’t it be Captain Bligh? Good question. Read the book.

Various reasons made the ship stay in Tahiti for about 5 months. Do you know what’s in Tahiti? Apparently, during that time, beautiful women who loved Europeans. A perfect climate helped too. By the time the sailors were told to get back on the boat, some were less than enthused.

What follows is one of the most famous mutinies in history. Why is it so famous? Well, the lead mutineer founded his own society on Pitcairn Island. Bligh made one of the most amazing sailing trips in history.

And the finally, retribution for all involved in variously gruesome ways. This story makes you believe in karma.

Verdict: One of my favorite books of all time.

If You Liked This Try:

  • Mike Dash, Batavia’s Graveyard
  • Diana Preston, Paradise in Chains
  • Alfred Lansing, Endurance
  • Bruce Henderson, Fatal North
  • David Cordingly, Under the Black Flag
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The Bounty by Caroline Alexander
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