Author(s): Anne Salmond
"In Bligh, the story of the most notorious of all Pacific explorers is told through a new lens as a key episode in the history of the world, rather than simply of the West. Award-winning anthropologist Anne Salmond recounts with a fresh perspective the triumphs and disasters of William Bligh's life in a riveting narrative that for the first time portrays the Pacific islanders as players. Beginning in 1777, when Bligh, at twenty-two, first arrived in Tahiti with Captain Cook, Salmond charts Bligh's three Pacific voyages - and tells how they transformed lives on the islands as well as on board the ships and back in Europe. She sheds new insight into the mutiny aboard the Bounty- and on Bligh's remarkable 3000-mile journey across the Pacific in a small boat - through revelations from the raw, unguarded letters between him and his wife Betsy. This beautifully told story reveals Bligh for the first time, as an important ethnographer adding to the paradoxical legacy of this famed seaman, and it captures more definitively than ever the excitement, drama, and terror of these events."
Anne Salmond is a Distinguished Professor at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. One of New Zealand's most prominent anthropologists and historians, Professor Salmond is the author of Hui- A Study of Maori Ceremonial Gatherings; Amiria- The Life Story of a Maori Woman); and Eruera- The Teachings of a Maori Elder (winner of a Wattie Book Award in 1981) which she co-wrote with Erua Stirling. Among her other acclaimed works are Two Worlds- First Meetings between Maori and Europeans, 1642-1772; Between Worlds- Early Exchanges between Maori and Europeans, 1773-1815 (winner of the Ernest Scott Prize in 1998); The Trial of the Cannibal Dog- Captain Cook in the South Seas (winner of the Montana Medal for Non-fiction in 2004); Aphrodite's Island- The European Discovery of Tahiti; and Bligh- William Bligh in the South Seas (a finalist in the 2012 NZ Post Book Awards). She received the CBE for services to literature and the Maori people in 1988 and was made Dame Commander of the British Empire for services to New Zealand history in 1995. In 2009, she was elected as a foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) for her excellence in scientific research. She lives in Devonport, Auckland.