THAT BOUNTY BASTARD by Kenneth S. Allen

THAT BOUNTY BASTARD

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

You villains--you God-damned villains. I'll be revenged on the whole pack of you. I'll have every man jack swinging at the yardarm before I've done--God damn me if I don't."" And so Captain William Bligh's launch pulls away from the Bounty, after history's most famous mutiny, and carries Bligh into enshrinement as a cruel, sadistic ship's captain without peer. But not only was he merely Lt. Bligh, he wasn't such a bad fellow either, according to Allen. An atrocious temper, yes, but it soon passed and he attempted amends or expected his outbursts to be quickly forgotten. His role as a sadist is also in question; the mutiny itself was spontaneous (almost nobody wanted to leave Tahiti) and not the result of any gross resort to flogging on his part. His punishments were comparatively mild. Allen works at gaining our sympathy--Bligh's loving wife and daughters, his skill as a navigator and mapmaker, his youthful cruise with Captain Cook, and his late governorship of New South Wales are all invoked. But Bligh's ragings and rantings are hard to write off. That leaves--as compelling as ever--the tale of the mutiny and especially of Bligh's 46 days and 3,618-mile voyage in an open boat.

Pub Date: May 10th, 1977
Publisher: St. Martin's