Pitcairn's Island [NOOK Book]


On a day late in December, in the year of 1789, while the earth turned
steadily on its course, a moment came when the sunlight illuminated San
Roque, easternmost cape of the three Americas. Moving ...
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Pitcairn's Island

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On a day late in December, in the year of 1789, while the earth turned
steadily on its course, a moment came when the sunlight illuminated San
Roque, easternmost cape of the three Americas. Moving swiftly westward, a
thousand miles each hour, the light swept over the jungle of the Amazon,
and glittered along the icy summits of the Andes. Presently the level
rays brought day to the Peruvian coast and moved on, across a vast
stretch of lonely sea.

In all that desert of wrinkled blue there was no sail, nor any land till
the light touched the windy downs of Easter Island, where the statues of
Rapa Nui's old kings kept watch along the cliffs. An hour passed as the
dawn sped westward another thousand miles, to a lone rock rising from the
sea, tall, ridged, foam-fringed at its base, with innumerable sea fowl
hovering along the cliffs. A boat's crew might have pulled around this
fragment of land in two hours or less, but the fronds of scattered
coconut palms rose above rich vegetation in the valleys and on the upper
slopes, and at one place a slender cascade fell into the sea. Peace,
beauty, and utter loneliness were here, in a little world set in the
midst of the widest of oceans--the peace of the deep sea, and of nature
hidden from the world of men. The brown people who had once lived here
were long since gone. Moss covered the rude paving of their temples, and
the images of their gods, on the cliffs above, were roosting places for
gannet and frigate bird.

The horizon to the east was cloudless, and, as the sun rose, flock after
flock of birds swung away toward their fishing grounds offshore. The
fledglings, in the dizzy nests where they had been hatched, settled
themselves for the long hours of waiting, to doze, and twitch, and sprawl
in the sun. The new day was like a million other mornings in the past,
but away to the east and still below the horizon a vessel--the only ship
in all that vast region--was approaching the land.

His Majesty's armed transport _Bounty_ had set sail from Spithead,
two years before, bound for Tahiti in the South Sea. Her errand was an
unusual one: to procure on that remote island a thousand or more young
plants of the breadfruit tree, and to convey them to the British
plantations in the West Indies, where it was hoped that they might
provide a supply of cheap food for the slaves. When her mission on Tahiti
had been accomplished and she was westward bound, among the islands of
the Tongan Group, Fletcher Christian, second-in-command of the vessel,
raised the men in revolt against Captain William Bligh, whose conduct he
considered cruel and insupportable. The mutiny was suddenly planned and
carried swiftly into execution, on the morning of April 28, 1789. Captain
Bligh was set adrift in the ship's launch, with eighteen loyal men, and
the mutineers saw them no more. After a disastrous attempt to settle on
the island of Tupuai, the _Bounty_ returned to Tahiti, where some of
the mutineers, as well as a number of innocent men who had been compelled
to remain with the ship, were allowed to establish themselves on shore.

The _Bounty_ was a little ship, of about two hundred tons burthen,
stoutly rigged and built strongly of English oak. Her sails were patched
and weather-beaten, her copper sheathing grown over with trailing weed,
and the paint on her sides, once a smart black, was now a scaling, rusty
brown. She was on the starboard tack, with the light southwesterly Wind
abaft the beam. Only nine mutineers were now on board, including Fletcher
Christian and Midshipman Edward Young. With the six Polynesian men and
twelve women whom they had persuaded to accompany them, they were
searching for a permanent refuge: an island so little known, so remote,
that even the long arm of the Admiralty would never reach them.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940013681569
  • Publisher: WDS Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/19/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 519,383
  • File size: 262 KB

Customer Reviews

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( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Great book

    The third book in the series and a wonderful capstone. This is a fascinating account of the lives of the mutineers and their Tahitian wives and companions on the isolated island home, Pitcairns Island.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2001

    Escape, Folly, and Redemption

    Before reviewing this book, let me note that it contains explicit scenes of violence that would cause this book to exceed an R rating if it were a motion picture. These scenes are very effective in enhancing the emotional power of the story, but certainly exceed what had to be portrayed. Pitcairn¿s Island is by far the best of the three novels in The Bounty Trilogy. While the first two books seem like somewhat disconnected pieces of the whole story of the events leading up to and following the mutiny on H.M.S. Bounty, Pitcairn¿s Island stands alone as a worthy story. In its rich development of what happened to nine of the mutineers and those Polynesians who joined them, this book ranks as one of the great adventure and morality tales of all time. The story picks up with the H.M.S. Bounty under sail in poorly charted seas, commanded by Fletcher Christian and looking for Pitcairn¿s Island. On the ship are 27 adults (9 British mutineers, 12 Polynesian women, and 6 Polynesian men). Everyone is a little edgy because Pitcairn¿s Island is not where the charts show it to be. After much stress, Pitcairn¿s Island is finally sighted. Then, it becomes apparent that the Bounty cannot be kept safely there in the long run because of the poor mooring conditions. If they commit to Pitcairn¿s Island, there will be no leaving it. Should they stay or go? The novel follows up on what happens in the 19 years following that fateful decision. The key themes revolve around the minimum requirements of a just society, differences between the two cultures of British and Polynesians, the varying perceptions and expectations of men and women, and the impact of immorality on the health of a society. Anyone who has enjoyed Robinson Crusoe, Swiss Family Robinson, or The Lord of the Flies will find this novel vastly appealing. Here, part of the fascination is that real-life events are being described. The decision to turn this into a novel is a good one. The accounts of what occurred vary, and cannot be totally reconciled. So no one can really know what happened, other than it was dramatic. Towards the end of the book, the narration becomes that of one character, and the use of that character¿s language, perspective, background is powerful in making the novel seem more realistic and compelling. This is a story where the less you know when you begin, the more you will enjoy the story. Out of respect for your potential reading pleasure, I will delve no more into the book. After you finish reading the book, I suggest that you take each of the characters and imagine how you could have improved matters for all by speaking and behaving differently then that character did. Then, think about your own family, and apply the same thought process. See what you would like to change about your own speech and behavior in your family, as a result. Think through the consequences of your potential actions very carefully when many others will be affected! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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