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Mutiny on the Bounty (novel)

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Mutiny on the Bounty
First edition dustcover
AuthorCharles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall
SeriesThe Bounty Trilogy
GenreHistorical novel
PublisherLittle, Brown and Company
Publication date
October 1932
Publication placeUnited States
Media typePrint (hardback & paperback)
Followed byMen Against the Sea 

Mutiny on the Bounty is a 1932 novel by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall,[1] based on the mutiny against Lieutenant William Bligh, commanding officer of the Bounty in 1789. It has been made into several films and a musical. It was the first of what became The Bounty Trilogy, which continues with Men Against the Sea, and concludes with Pitcairn's Island.

Plot introduction[edit]

The novel tells the story through a fictional first-person narrator by the name of Roger Byam, based on a crew member Peter Heywood.[2] Byam, although not one of the mutineers, remains with the Bounty after the mutiny. He subsequently returns to Tahiti and is eventually arrested and taken back to England to face a court-martial. He and several other members of the crew are eventually acquitted.

Characters in Mutiny on the Bounty[edit]

  • Roger Byam – main protagonist, loosely based on the life of midshipman Peter Heywood; but with differences in the book it is claimed that Byam's only living relative was his mother who died of shock after William Bligh had accused her son of being an active mutineer; in fact, Heywood had several siblings; his mother survived his court-martial- although his sister Nessy Heywood did die a year after his acquittal
  • William Bligh – Lieutenant and commander of the Bounty
  • Fletcher Christian – eventual mutineer

Film, TV and theatrical adaptations[edit]


An earlier work, Les Révoltés de la Bounty (The Mutineers of the Bounty), was published by Jules Verne in 1879.[3]

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • Caroline Alexander, The Bounty: The True Story of the Mutiny on the Bounty, Viking Penguin, 2003, hardcover, 512 pages, ISBN 0-670-03133-X
  • William Bligh, A Narrative of the Mutiny on board His Majesty's ship Bounty; and the subsequent voyage of part of the crew, in the ship's boat, from Tofoa, one of the Friendly Islands, to Timor, a Dutch Settlement in the East-Indies., London, 1790–94.
  • Karl Ernst Alwyn Lorbach, 'Conspiracy on the Bounty: Bligh's Convenient Mutiny', printed University of Queensland, 2012, hardcover/Kindle/ePub, 366 pages, ISBN 978-0-9806914-1-2.

External links[edit]