BLIGH, WILLIAM. 1754-1817.
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 Tofua, one of the Friendly Islands, to Timor, a Dutch settlement in the East Indies. London: George Nicol, 1790.
4to (288 x 223 mm). Folding engraved frontispiece, 3 folding engraved maps. 19th-century half calf, rebacked, modern endpapers. Light spotting to text, creasing to plate and maps, binding with some old soiling to covers, corners worn.
FIRST EDITION OF BLIGH'S OWN ACCOUNT OF THE FAMOUS MUTINY AND ONE OF THE GREAT FEATS OF NAVIGATION. After a brief preamble, Lieutenant Bligh's narrative starts with the events of the early-morning of April 29, 1789 when he was waked at sword-point by Fletcher Christian. Christian and the 24 man crew who mutinied against Bligh remained on board the Bounty, casting Bligh and eighteen loyal men adrift in the ship's 23-foot launch. Over the next 45 days Bligh navigated over 4,000 miles of open water via Fiji, north along the Australian coast and through the Torres Straits to the Indonesian island of Timor. "In the course of this hazardous journey Bligh took the opportunity to chart and name parts of the unknown north-east coast of New Holland as he passed along it" (Wantrup, p 128). He faced a court-martial on his return, but was not only acquitted but also promoted to Commander: he subsequently made a second successful attempt to transport bread-fruit trees from the Pacific to the Atlantic. Hill 132; Ferguson 71; Wantrup p 61.