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This Author: Caroline Alexander
This Narrator: Michael York
This Publisher: Penguin Audio

The Bounty: The True Story of the Mutiny on the Bounty by Caroline Alexander

The Bounty: The True Story of the Mutiny on the Bounty

by Caroline Alexander

Product Details

Abridged Edition
Running Time
6 Hrs.
User Rating
  1.5  Stars Based on 1 rating
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More than two centuries after Master's Mate Fletcher Christian led a mutiny against Lieutenant William Bligh on a small, armed transport vessel called Bounty, the true story of this enthralling adventure has become obscured by the legend. Combining vivid characterization and deft storytelling, Caroline Alexander shatters the centuries-old myths surrounding this story. She brilliantly shows how, in a desperate attempt to save one man from the gallows and another from ignominy, two powerful families came together and began to create the version of history we know today. The true story of the mutiny on the Bounty is an epic of duty and heroism, pride and power, and the assassination of a brave man's honor at the dawn of the Romantic age.

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Reviews & Ratings
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Caroline in Wonderland
Reviewer branski
 July 27, 2010
Wow! Where to begin. Maybe with a allegory.

Imagine yourself on a slave plantation with Caroline Alexander two or three hundred years ago. Her observations are acute. Her detail is comprehensive. And her line of thought is something like this: 'While the slaves often complain of ill treatment, it is clear that this treatment by masters of the plantation is the norm in the Caribbean (or in the U.S. southern states). What caused the the recent slave uprising was the result of one man who lost his mind, ultimately killing the plantation's owner and then seeking to justify his actions by accusing the owners of exploitation and inhumane treatment.

"Certainly, Mr. Bligh (the plantation owner) did his slaves no worse than other plantations owners. So the question remains as to why Mr Christian (an apt name), so full of ill-hatred, could have killed the master?

In regards to Ms. Alexander's understanding of motive for Fletcher Christian's actions in the mutiny aboard the Bounty, she has no clue.
She regards cruelty, arrogance and tyranny on the part of Bligh as no worse than other Captains in the British navy. (Hence, the above allegory).

The fact that sailors were to survive on a starvation diet seems par for the course to her. She almost calls it whining. One wonders if the lady has ever exercised. To survive on a 1000 calories a day when work probably required up to 5,000 calories seems inconsequential to her. That Bligh had no understanding of the low caloric intake of his men, of course, is because as an officer, he ate well and did no physical labor.

The fact that the captain was often abusive to his fellow officers and others was acceptable behavior, so says Ms. Alexander, so, "what's the big deal?' Certainly, Mr. Christian must have been very thin-skinned to have actually decided to mutiny, she wants us to believe.

I fear the lady knew before she did her research that she needed some new angle to make a best-seller. Hence, her research purports to show that Captain Bligh was so badly misunderstood and his detractors were motivated by to elevating Fletcher Christian's reputation.

Her research? The words and stories of English sailors and others aboard the Bounty who, in front of a British military tribunal, are called upon to recount what happened that could have made a mutiny. Can you imagine sailors or others telling these officers that Captain Bligh was a total asshole? No, they knew better. They knew which side their bread was buttered on. They knew how far they could go in criticism against the imperial navy. They, unlike Ms. Alexander, were not idiots.

I daresay that if Captain Bligh were Ms. Alexander's father, she would have either killed him or herself at a very early age.

I know what Ms. Alexander would say to this critique. 'Poor boy, I am only doing due historic research and the facts reveal themselves to me to indicate that Captain Bligh was seriously misunderstood, his reputation maligned. To be an asshole in that space and time was par for the British Navy, so Mr. Christian should have realized that and gone along like a good little boy or slave. Mr. Bligh was merely doing his duty. Like Captain Cook, killed by natives, he was sorely misunderstood.

Poor, poor Captain Bligh. I believe he got his just desserts in the end, regardless of Ms. Alexander's revisionist history. We can hardly await her next book which will defend Imperialism, Capitalism, and the Slave Trade.

More Details

  • Published: September 2003
  • LearnOutLoud.com Product ID: T022525
Available On
Audio CD
5 Discs