PANDORA'S LAST VOYAGE by Geoffrey Rawson


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Fascinating, and sometimes harsh and cantankerous as an old sea dog, Rawson relates the ill-fated voyage of HMS Pandora which was sent out in 1790 to round up the Bounty's mutineers. At that time, Captain Bligh was held in high esteem by Englishmen and Fletcher Christian, the head mutineer, thought despicable; soon, however, Byron and other poets began reeling off verses about the Bounty and Bligh became the villain and Christian the romantic hero. The Pandora was captained by Edward Edwards and, by all accounts, he was a greater pain in the fo'csle than even Bligh had been. His mission was stupendously difficult. Christian had let it be known to Bligh that he would take the Bounty to some utterly unknown island among the thousands of South Sea islands. How could Edwards possibly find the miscreant? But on Papara he did indeed round up some mutineers and eventually captured quite a handful. He missed Christian, however, who with some others and some native women had sailed to Pitcairn Island and burned the Bounty. The Pandora meanwhile sank in the Straits of Torres and Edwards and 100 men found themselves in open boats making the same burning journey Bligh had to make.

Pub Date: Aug. 26th, 1964
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace & World