Captain Bligh and the mutiny on the Bounty have become proverbial in their capacity to evoke the extravagant and violent abuse of power. But William Bligh was one of the least violent disciplinarians in the British navy. It is this paradox which inspired Greg Dening to ask why the mutiny took place. His book explores the theatrical nature of what was enacted in the power-play on deck, on the beaches at Tahiti and in the murderous settlement at Pitcairn, on the altar stones and temples of sacrifice, and on the catheads from which men were hanged. Part of the key lies in the curious puzzle of Mr Bligh's bad language.
• Topic of perennial fascination on page and screen • Unique and original perspective on a well-known story • Explores the mystery of Captain Bligh's reputation being at odds with historical fact
List of illustrations; Acknowledgements; Prologue; Act 1. The Ship; Entr'Acte: Sharks that walk on the land; Entr'Acte: Ralph Wewitzer: The First Captain Bligh; Act 2. The Beach; Act 3. The Island; Epilogue; Notes; Reference Bibliography; Index.
'This is a marvellous magical mystery tour we are offered, written in an allusive and quicksilver prose - no bad language here.' The Times Higher Education Supplement