|About the Book|
The year is 1817, and Vice Admiral William Bligh is settled into a distinctly unpeacful retirement in rural Kent. Throughout his distinguished career in the service of his country, Bligh has been dogged by mutinies and accusations of tyranny, and even in retirement it seems there is to be no rest. He is beset by the dumb insolence of neighbors, the domestic mutinies of his marriageable daughters, the folly of doctors, and the rebellion of his own failing health. While bravely contending with these adversities, Bligh casts his mind back over his life, vividly reliving Captain Cooks last voyage, the famous victories over Napoleon at Camperdown and Copenhagen, sexual encounters with the natives of Timor (a distinct contrast to the cold embrace of Mrs. Bligh), his Governorship of New South Wales, and, of course, the notorious mutiny of his friend Fletcher Christian. Whether or not we sympathize with him, we are moved by Blighs sense of loss and betrayal. For Bligh is that staple of story telling, the charismatic villain, convinced that he is more sinned against than sinning, and the novel is a brilliant portrait of a man and his times.