Bounty Trilogy

Bounty Trilogy

by Charles Nordhoff, James Norman Hall
Trade Paperback, 691 pages
Price: $29.99

The three novels contained in this book are a fictionalized account of an amazing voyage that actually happened. Harsh treatment on a mission to Tahiti begets a mutiny, which in turn leads to betrayal, murder, and vengeance. Peace is restored only by returning to Biblical precepts. Although harsh at times, this is a fascinating and incredibly descriptive story.

The first book, Mutiny on the Bounty, gives an unforgettable account of the historic voyage of His Majesty's Ship Bounty in 1788-1789 and Fletcher Christian's mutiny against Captain Bligh. Before the HMS Bounty disappears into the South Pacific, those who choose not to sail with Christian and crew are left on Tahiti, where they enjoy a brief idyll before being captured and returned to England for court-martial.

Men Against the Sea is the epic story of the nineteen loyal men who, with Captain Bligh at the helm, are set adrift in the Bounty's twenty-three-foot open launch. To this day, their 3,600-mile voyage remains one of the greatest feats of courage and adventure in the annals of the sea.

The third and climactic volume, Pitcairn's Island, chronicles the fate of Christian, the mutineers, and a handful of Tahitians who find refuge on the loneliest island in the Pacific. There they live out a tragedy of drunkenness, betrayal, murder, and vengeance, leaving only one Englishman alive to restore the peace, which he does by returning to the precepts in the Bounty's Bible.

Although definitely not light reading, the lore of the Bounty mutiny has fired my imagination since I was a young teen; while I own several versions of the story (including those by RM Ballantyne and Caroline Alexander), Nordhoff and Hall's rendition remains my favorite. (But to be honest, try to find an edition with NC Wyeth's amazing illustrations!)

To learn more about Pitcairn:

Review by Eli Evans
Formerly home educated and now father of five, Eli loves discovering amazing books, new and old, and is an artistic curator at heart. The owner and manager of Exodus since 1998, his focus is on offering thoughtful and well-written books that inspire the imagination and promote creativity and diligence while living for God. Read more of his reviews here.
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