Men Against the Sea


Men against the Sea, the second narrative, is the story of Captain Bligh and the eighteen loyal men who, on the morning of the mutiny, were set adrift by the mutineers in the Bounty’s launch, an open boat but twenty-three feet long, in which they made a 3600-mile voyage from the scene of the mutiny to Timor, in the Dutch East Indies. Captain Bligh’s log of this remarkable voyage, a series of brief daily notes, was, of course, the chief literary source of this second novel. The voyage is described in the words of one of those who survived it—Thomas Ledward, acting surgeon of the Bounty, whose medical knowledge and whose experience in reading men’s sufferings would qualify him as a sensitive and reliable observer.