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Captain Bligh and Mr.Christian: The Men and the Mutiny Hardcover – 1 Sep 1972

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 319 pages
  • Publisher: Hutchinson; 1st Edition edition (Sept. 1972)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091128609
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091128609
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,282,956 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Captain Bligh & Mr Christian: The Men and the Mutiny

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book is an in depth look at the lives of Captain Bligh and Fletcher Christian,from their beginnings, to the Bounty, and onwards towards their deaths.

It must be said first of all that there has been fabulous research done by Richard Hough and this is a great read for anyone with an interest in the Bounty mutiny. I recommend it with no hesitataion at all. The story is always pushed along nicely and you will learn things you may never have known. I was particularly impressed with the way the lives of the two men are discussed after the mutiny. Hough doesn't rush through this period, he makes it as engrossing as the mutiny itself.

The conclusion he reaches as to why the two men fell out in such a dramatic way is controversial, but it does seem to have a certain logic, although we may never know the real reason. This book doesn't suffer by Hough's opinions at all and when so much hard work has gone into a book like this, you have to respect his opinion.

Buy it without delay, it really is a most interesting read and gives a new insight into this famous story.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I raced through this book because it is so well written. It's basically the same as the Anthony Hopkins film version with lots of unknown fascinating facts thrown in. Exactly what I was looking for. Having read Richard Hough's Captain Cook I can highly recommend.
I was however disappointed with the quality of the book I received. I often buy second hand because I prefer hardback copies, I only ever purchase when they are described as "very good" or "like new". This book was acceptable at best. Would not purchase from this seller again.
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Format: Hardcover
This book was written almost 40 years ago and covers familiar ground, with the author choosing his favourites of different interpretations of events and occasionally putting words and thoughts into the protagonists' mouths and minds. He has an interesting take on the possible background to the Mutiny, which he suddenly springs on the reader without prior warning, in the last chapter.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.5 out of 5 stars 10 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic story 12 Feb. 2002
By Will o' the Wisp - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The Bounty mutiny is perhaps the most fascinating and stirring sea adventure in world history, even more so than the TITANIC. Hough's book is an excellent reexamination of the story and of the complex relationship between William Bligh and Fletcher Christian. While I don't agree with Hough's conclusions as to what was really at the heart of the mutiny (I won't spoil it for you by revealing that here) the relationship was combustible and was at the heart of the mutiny.
The Bounty crew were for the most part hand-picked and young. Christian was only in his early 20s, Bligh was in his early 30s and only a very few of the crew were in their late 30s or early 40s. Despite the popular image of the story, Bligh was actually pretty lenient with his crew when it came to punishment and he made it all the way to Tahiti losing only a single man. During his epic open boat voyage after the mutiny, he made it to Coupang having lost only one man en route, although many of the survivors died within weeks of their rescue. Bligh was a complainer, a nagger and had a viciously sharp tongue though which was more than the youthful Christian could bear.
Far from the heroic image that Christian is given in the movies, Hough shows that Christian was impulsive and not much of a leader. While Bligh, sharp tongue and all, was able to save nearly all of the men who were kicked off the ship with him, Christian and his men met with disaster at almost every turn, primarily because Christian was a failure as a leader. The mutineers' disastrous attempt to settle on Pitcairn Island is perhaps the most gripping and fascinating part of the story.
Hough's book is excellent and the Mel Gibson/Anthony Hopkins movie "The Bounty" was based on it and is by far the most authentic and best of the Bounty movies.
19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Captain Bligh and Mr Christian homosexual lovers? 3 Mar. 2002
By Rumpledinkhumble - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an entertaining if odd little book and is much overated. I had two problems with it: 1) There are no footnotes but all sorts of two-hundred year old dialogue provided. The author has verbatim discussions taking place on the remote island that certainly could not have been recorded (but how would we know since none of it is footnoted?). Mostly, the author made it up it seems and the device shadows the credibility of the whole book. 2) And if I was not incredulous enough over the history-as-soap opera style, the author saves his blockbuster thesis for the last chapter. He agues that the crusty Captain Bligh and Spencer Christian were really gay lovers and this explains the combustibility and passions that came into play. Bligh according to this view was jealous of Christian's love affair with the Tahitian girl he later fathered three children with. The author offers not one shred of evidence for this, not one shred, and says as much in the final pages of the book. This book has an amateurish feel, written by an author who got away for too long with writing pseudo-histories. This book is not without redeeming qualities; it certainly is interesting and a good read. The 1984 movie The Bounty was based on this account, though the movie, mercifully, skipped over some of Robert Blough's more nutty conclusions.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Reasons Why. 16 May 2001
By Frank J O'Connor - Published on
Format: Paperback
Psychological insight combined with compelling storytelling make this account of the most famous mutiny in history thrilling reading 30 years after its original publication. The whole story is here in a brisk 300 pages that one regrets to have finished. Scrupulously fair to all concerned, more interested in exploring the causes of this tragedy than in assessing blame, with keen psychological discernment in limning the characters of Bligh (a truly Jeckyl and Hyde phenomenom) and Christian (beautiful, charming and weak), with a final last chapter hypothesis that is as stunning as it is plausible; but as the author admits, the reasons for this strange mutiny are ultimately unprovable. All the great mysteries, like the Kennedy assassination and the Bounty mutiny, are in the end unsolvable and that is what makes them so compelling. Thirty years on this vivid and acute examination of a certain unpleasantness in the south Pacific in 1789 must be judged a classic. I finished it with goosebumps on my flesh.
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved that so much 6 Sept. 2015
By B. Altam - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I came to this book having previously read Hough's biography of Captain Cook. I loved that so much, I decided I would basically read anything by Hough, as I find is writing style so enjoyable. This book, which is in some way a sequal to Captain Cook, didn't disappoint.
If you were like me and are new to the Bounty story, and don't know the details, this is a great starting point. I read it as I would a novel, not knowing the ending. The book begins by recounting the mutiny itself (no spoilers are in this review), then the first half of the book is the events leading up to the mutiny, followed by the aftermath.

Most of the book is written as pure history. Some parts are told in novel-form, complete with dialog. Some have complained that this makes the book historical fiction, I suppose by some narrow definitions that may be true. The author explains that the dialog is verbatim from the historical record, or derived from narrative transcripts.

The book I found to be overall sympathetic to Bligh, though it is obvious he is not without his faults. Through most of the book Christian's motivation is described as "madness" or "being in hell". It is essentially up to the reader to decide why Christian cracked-up. In the last chapter of the book (last 10 pages) the author puts in his own personal opinion, which I found myself partly agreeing with and partly disagreeing with.

This book is history superbly told. I found the second half so gripping that I read it in nearly one sitting. The 1980's movie based on this book is decent, but several key points relating to the mutiny and events afterwards differ from the book, which is curious, since the movie is based on the book.
3.0 out of 5 stars Good to read as historical fiction 7 Mar. 2015
By Steve Reynolds - Published on
Format: Paperback
The story of the Bounty is fascinating from many directions. One, the overall purpose of the voyage being to support the profiteering of English slave owners; the privations endured as a matter of course in the days of sail; the encounters between Europeans and non-Europeans and the way Europeans enslaved and took possession of foreign lands as a birthright; the drama of tensions building to the breaking point with the resultant mutiny and flight of the forevermore-damned mutineers; the longest open-boat ocean voyage ever up to that time; the mutineers attempt to build, and failure to sustain, a micro-colony for 28 years on an uninhabited island. All of these things make a story which is vastly compelling and able to stand alone to hold our interest without embellishment. That then begs the question why the author is intent upon sharing his own unsubstantiated theories of personal relationships, mainly between Bligh and Christian, to the detriment of the work in general.

The fact that undocumented dialog appears throughout certainly makes for a good read, but must place this book in the category of historical fiction. That is all well and good and I need to enjoy what I read, and this was very enjoyable. But the depth of the history is in question. Certainly I have no need to delve into the question of Captain Bligh's relationship homosexual or not with anybody. If there are any Bligh descendents now living, highly unhelpful. Hough's 'theory' amounts to libel as unsupported 'fact'. I see no reason to go deeper than a glimpse of the daily routine aboard a sea-going sailing ship to find all sorts of reasons why a mutiny could develop.

I doubt that there are more than a few people in a thousand nowadays who could tolerate the conditions in the Royal Navy of the 1780's, much less do so for years at a time. Any one of us now would reach the breaking point long before month 17. I find it no wonder that mutiny occurred – the story is worth knowing about, without added psychologizing, and I recommend this book, but with a grain of salt.
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