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Synopsis

In Bligh, the story of the most notorious of all Pacific explorers is told through a new lens as a significant episode in the history of the world, not simply of the West. Award-winning anthropologist Anne Salmond recounts the triumphs and disasters of William Bligh's life and career in a riveting narrative that for the first time portrays the Pacific islanders as key players. From 1777, Salmond charts Bligh's three Pacific voyages with Captain James Cook in the Resolution, on board the Bounty, and as commander of the Providence. Salmond offers new insights into the mutiny aboard the Bounty and on Bligh's extraordinary 3000-mile journey across the Pacific in a small boat through new revelations from unguarded letters between him and his wife Betsy. We learn of their passionate relationship, and her unstinting loyalty throughout the trials of his turbulent career and his fight to clear his name. This beautifully told story reveals Bligh as an important ethnographer, adding to the paradoxical legacy of the famed seaman. For the first time, we hear how Bligh and his men were changed by their experiences in the South Seas, and how in turn they changed that island world forever. 'Remarkable . . . The mutiny has inspired some marvellous books, of which this is possibly the finest.' --Jim Eagles, New Zealand Herald

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