In 1789, as the Bounty made its return voyage through the western Pacific Ocean, disgruntled crewmen seized control from their captain, William Bligh. The mutineers set Bligh and the eighteen men who remained loyal to him adrift in one of the ship’s boats, with minimal food and only four cutlasses for weapons.
In the two centuries since, the mutiny and its aftermath have become the stuff of legend. Millions of words have been written about it; it has been the subject of novels, plays, feature films and documentaries. The story’s two protagonists – Bligh and his mutinous deputy, Fletcher Christian – are cast as villain and hero, but which is which depends on which account you read.
In 'Mutiny, Mayhem, Mythology', Alan Frost looks past these inherited narratives to shed new light on the infamous expedition and its significance. Returning to the very first accounts of the mutiny, he shows how gaps, misconceptions and hidden agendas crept into the historical record and have shaped it ever since.