Printed from Catalogue on Wednesday, Oct 27 2021

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1792 - 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…

Map makerSizeMap IDCondition
William Bligh 230 x 295 mmD1 / M263 / I191Please contact us for a complete condition report.

The voyage of the Bounty would have to be one of the most interesting 18th century voyages undertaken. Its story would inspire three Hollywood epics staring some of its greatest stars. Furthermore both Bligh and the mutineers would continue to maintain the interest of the public with the later still fascinating people until today.

Bligh’s account of the voyage and mutiny could be seen as an attempt to acquit him of responsibility over the mutiny. Its publication in 1792 came after a less detailed account that was published in 1790 which was not much more than a year after the actual mutiny.

The account includes 7 charts, engravings, and plans that illustrate the voyage. A map of part of Queensland’s coastline is also included that Bligh charted on route to Timor, which perhaps shows that Bligh was looking for favor from the admiralty. Plans of the stern of the Bounty and of the longboat also help to paint a picture of the event.

For those unfamiliar with the story, HMS Bounty was a ship commissioned to collect a great number of Bread Fruit plants, an abundant fruit found in Tahiti and thoroughly promoted as an excellent food source by Joseph Banks, who documented it during Cook’s first voyage to the island in 1769. Lieutenant William Bligh who had been present on Cook’s third voyage was chosen to lead the expedition. Due to poor time planning and conditions the Bounty was forced to remain in Tahiti for many months so that the successful cultivation of the Bread Fruit to the ship could take place. This allowed much of the crew to fully enjoy the beauty of the island and lifestyle that Tahiti would become famous for. Bligh had been known to be an impatient and hot headed man, which on the voyage home was reported by the mutineers to have led to the mutiny. On the day of the mutiny Bligh was placed in a long boat only 23 foot long with those not interested in being part of the mutiny and cast adrift. Though Bligh was criticized for his temper he was an excellent sea farer and navigator. Bligh would travel over 6000kms to Timor in the small long boat in a voyage that would take close to two months. During this he would loose only one man of 18 which was exceptional in itself. This paragraph gives only a very short summary of this fascinating story.

Bligh’s account here of the voyage is an exceptional work, not only historically important and valuable but also truly interesting. This first edition of the famous work is crucial to any collection of Pacific or naval history. Please contact us for a full condition report.

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