This title is about Captain William Bligh, Fletcher Christian and the Pitcairn mutineers: murder, slavery, incest and survivors, then and now.
This singular tale by Whitbread Prize-winning writer Diana Souhami (SELKIRK’S ISLAND) connects the famous mutiny on the Bounty in the Pacific Ocean in 1789 to the plight of the islanders of Pitcairn now.
Its conceptual core is chaos theory: how a small chance thing, the taking of a coconut by Fletcher Christian from William Bligh’s stores on the ship, had dramatic ramifications that continue today.
The vivid narrative includes mutiny, travel, biography, incest, homosexuality, murder and rape, science and technology, fantasy and selective history.
Sea voyages, most of them extraordinary, drive the narrative forward, the author’s own journey to Pitcairn where Fletcher Christian hid to escape punishment; Bligh’s navigation to Timor in violent weather, without maps, in a small boat, with scant supplies and starving men; the voyage to England with mutineers in chains and their shipwreck …