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The Truth About the Mutiny on HMAV Bounty - and the Fate of Fletcher Christian (Hardback)

Maritime British History P&S History Biographies 18th Century

By Glynn Christian
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 30 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781399014182
Published: 28th April 2021

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The Truth About the Mutiny on HMAV BOUNTY – and the Fate of Fletcher Christian brings this famed South Pacific saga into the 21st century.

By combining unprecedented research into Fletcher Christian and his fate with deep knowledge of Bounty’s Polynesian women, Glynn Christian presents a fresh and comprehensive telling of a powerful maritime adventure that still captivates after 230 years.

Of over 3000 books and major articles on the mutiny, or the five feature films starring such as Clark Gable, Charles Laughton, Marlon Brando and Mel Gibson, none has told the true story as until 1982, no author knew the real Fletcher Christian, or could understand his relationship with William Bligh, his mentor-turned-nemesis. Glynn Christian’s extraordinary research into Bligh, Christian and Bounty included every deposit of documents worldwide and a sailing expedition to Pitcairn Island.

This book details the cramped dark conditions on the ship and how Bligh bravely commanded it at Cape Horn, saving it and the crew. Yet he was unable to keep discipline because he didn’t punish enough, instead relying on his brutal tongue. Forced to remain in Tahiti for 23 weeks, Bligh struggled to retain order when Bounty sailed.

Glynn Christian reveals how this affected Fletcher Christian mentally, explaining his out-of-character mutiny. Then Christian showed revolutionary social conscience, using democracy and uniforms on Bounty to maintain leadership, including through the little-known settlement of Fort George on Tubuai.

After this, he and Bounty disappeared for 18 years. Bounty’s story becomes that of Pitcairn Island, of revolutionary black women who protected their children with the blood of their fathers and continued Fletcher’s ideals to become the first women in the world permanently to have the vote and guarantee education for girls.

But where was Fletcher Christian?

I have always been interested in the Mutiny on the Bounty so was looking forward to reading this title. I found it extremely interesting and very detailed. It filled in many gaps of knowledge and in turn I found myself exploring the characters more.

NetGalley, T B

This famous South Pacific saga is brought alive with with this book.
The author through comprehensive documented research tells this powerful fateful maritime adventure, detailed is Fletcher Christian and his relationship with William Bligh. William Bligh who could bravely command in difficult situations but struggled to keep order amongst shipmates resulting in the mutiny. Fletcher however retained leadership through democracy only then for him & Bounty to disappear for 18 years but to where & do what?.
A interesting book that filled a void of knowledge and made me go off and research more in to the Pitcairn islands, its small population and the women's right to education and the vote, however that then gave me more detail about what potentially happened in those years compared to the authors reasoning and views that he balances with his research.
A atmospheric book with contrasts from the dingy dark cramped ship conditions to the beautiful tropical landscape you can't help but loose yourself within.
I haven't read anything off this subject to compare it too but I rated it on my enjoyment overall and appreciation of the amount of work the author must have undertaken.

NetGalley, Kelly Furniss

Praise for Mrs Christian BOUNTY Mutineer:
. . . not only a thoughtful but also a gripping and moving story with wide implications.

Rolf DuRietz, Bounty scholar

Praise for Mrs Christian BOUNTY Mutineer:
. . . sheds tremendous light on the Pitcairn story.

Dame Anne Salmond, South Pacific Anthropologist

Praise for Mrs Christian BOUNTY Mutineer: Sensationally exciting . . . I had no idea Pitcairn’s women were first to have the vote.

Joanna Lumley OBE FRG

. . . a compulsive and fascinating read.  Written by a direct descendant of Fletcher Christian, it shines new light on both the mutiny and what came after, including votes for women

Robin Hanbury-Tenison OBE FRGS Gold Medallist Royal Geographical Society

A unique and definitive history of BOUNTY and her passengers’ fates on mysterious Pitcairn

Major-General Peter Williams CMG OBE

We should not celebrate mutiny but learn from it. Glynn’s scholarly research reveals Fletcher Christian as a courageous leader and social pioneer, clearly looking for better, fairer and more inclusive community life

Commodore Gerry Christian AM Royal Australian Navy

. . . explores the remarkable link between Milntown, the Christian family’s ancient Isle of Man seat, and the political revolution on Pitcairn that gave the first votes to women and education to girls

Charles Guard, Chairman, The Milntown Trust, Isle of Man

. . . an insightful book on the beginnings of Pitcairn’s history and on his ancestor Fletcher Christian.
It’s a first class read, historically accurate, highly recommended.

Councillor Leslie Jaques OBE | Government of Pitcairn Islands

Glynn Christian’s painstaking research into his notorious ancestor has resulted in a fascinating new insight into the mutiny on Her Majesty’s Armed Vessel BOUNTY 28 April 1789, and in particular events thereafter. He describes in a detail that I have never come across before all the characters involved which makes the account truly compelling. His book gives a real flavour of what life was like in ships during that period and in particular the extended deployments amongst the Pacific islands on the other side of the world.
He wrestles with the psychological drivers of the key protagonists raising some fascinating views.
But what I found most intriguing was the depth of research into the women who played such a key role in events and particularly the settlement on Pitcairn and its subsequent development. His anthropological research about the Pacific islanders and their lives is riveting and I had not realised how key their traditions and women were to the drama. The book is a must for anyone interested in gaining a balanced view of the mutiny and its aftermath.

Admiral Lord West GCB DSC Former First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff

About Glynn Christian

Glynn Christian is the first biographer of Fletcher Christian and of Mauatua his Tahitian consort, his great-great-great-great grandparents. As well as this major academic contribution to Bounty literature, he has written an historical-fiction account from Mauatua’s view Mrs Christian BOUNTY Mutineer.


Well-known as a distinguished food writer and pioneering TV-chef, Glynn is honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Guild of Fine Foods and his book REAL FLAVOURS - the handbook of gourmet & deli ingredients was voted Best Food Guide at the Cordon Bleu World Food Media awards. 


He continues to write and lives in Battersea, London.

Mutiny on the Bounty

28th April 1789

In 1789, master’s mate Fletcher Christian led a notorious mutiny on the Bounty, which was under the command of William Bligh.


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