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A Voyage to the South Sea

William Bligh

Book Overview: 

A Voyage to the South Sea, undertaken by command of His Majesty, for the purpose of conveying the Bread-fruit tree to the West Indies, in His Majesty’s ship The Bounty, commanded by Lieutenant William Bligh. Including an account of the Mutiny on board the said ship, and the subsequent voyage of part of the crew, in the ship’s boat, from Tofoa, one of the Friendly Islands, to Timor, a Dutch settlement in the East Indies.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I imagine the tree must have been dead when it was cut; but it serves to show the durability of the wood for it was perfectly sound at this time. I shot two gannets: these birds were of the same size as those in England; their colour is a beautiful white, with the wings and tail tipped with jet black and the top and back of the head of a very fine yellow. Their feet were black with four claws, on each of which was a yellow line the whole length of the foot. The bill was four inches long, without nostrils, and very taper and sharp-pointed.

The east side of the bay being not so thick of wood as the other parts, and the soil being good, I fixed on it, at Nelson's recommendation, as the most proper situation for planting some of the fruit-trees which I had brought from the Cape of Good Hope. A circumstance much against anything succeeding here is that in the dry season the fires made by the natives are apt to communicate to the dried grass and underwood, and to spre. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Nice to hear more about the interesting business of HMS Bounty.

Captain Bligh's story

I read the Mutiny on the Bounty type stories about 50 years ago. More recently, I read this and Mr. Bligh's bad language. Fletcher Christian is hardly mentioned here. A story of survival and one that will give you a wholly different outlook on the traditional story.

The title of the one I read was "A voyage to the South Sea: undertaken by command of His Majesty, for the purpose of conveying the bread-fruit tree to the West Indies in His Majesty's ship the Bounty commanded by Lieutenant William Bligh; and an account of the mutiny on board H.M.S. Bounty and th...more

Hollywood, in its classic 1935 movie version of the infamous mutiny, gives quite a different story than is reported by then commanding lieutenant Bligh. Whether Bligh was the tyrant this movie makes him out to be, or whether such tough leadership was common in those days (some even say he was gen...more

Not sure if this is the right version of this, but I read through Bligh's actual entries. Fascinating, really. The language and the story it tells. Just neat-o.

(Added an extra star because this in a subject that I particularly enjoy)

Probably the most important source of one those great examples of human endurance and courage that was the Mutiny on the Bounty.

When reading this its worth bearing in mind that this account was produced immediat...more

Great read - or listen, rather. Try libirvox.

Bligh really transports you to that era. After finishing this one, all I can say is, "shame on you Hollywood, for putting so much Hollywood into the 1935 flick."

The actual mutiny is a very small part of the narrative - which mak...more

It was ok. It was a little more dry than I thought it would be.

The recollections of the real life Lt. William Bligh of Mutiny on the bounty fame. He wrote this after his famous retelling of the mutiny, and his travels across the Pacific in what was little more than a lifeboat.