After the Bounty


After the Bounty

A Sailor's Account of the Mutiny, and Life in the South Seas

James Morrison
Edited and Annotated by Donald A. Maxton

270 pages


November 2009


$29.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

In 1787, the Royal Navy ship H.M.S. Bounty, captained by William Bligh, set sail for Tahiti in search of breadfruit plants. Soon after leaving Tahiti, Master’s Mate Fletcher Christian led a successful revolt, setting Bligh and eighteen of his men adrift. In his journal, fellow mutineer James Morrison recounts the Bounty’s voyage from his perspective as the boatswain’s mate, placing considerable blame for the mutiny on Bligh’s irascible personality and style of command. This event, however, simply introduces Morrison’s remarkable journey through the South Seas.A born storyteller, Morrison presents compelling tales after the Bounty mutiny, beginning with ringleader Fletcher Christian’s two bloody, ill-fated attempts to establish a refuge on the island of Tubuai. Morrison then recounts his eighteen month sojourn on Tahiti, where he constructed a seaworthy schooner and closely observed every aspect of the island and its way of life. He also includes the subsequent arrival of H.M.S. Pandora, which was charged with bringing the mutineers back to England for trial, and his imprisonment in the horrific “Pandora’s Box.” Morrison once again faces peril when the Pandora sinks on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, where thirty-one of the crew and four prisoners perished.Although Morrison did not actively participate in the Bounty insurrection, he had remained with Fletcher Christian’s party, which was enough evidence for condemnation once back in England. While imprisoned, Morrison began composing his journal. He was released—King George III granted a pardon—and soon after wrote the second half of the journal, which he filled with detailed descriptions of Tahitian life, culture, and natural history. Morrison’s journal is an invaluable resource for naval historians and an enthralling tale for the general reader.

Author Bio

Donald A. Maxton has worked in the field of corporate communications and public affairs for twenty-five years. He has written articles on New Jersey history, health care, and has authored The Rahway Valley Railroad and The Mutiny on H.M.S. Bounty: A Guide to Nonfiction, Fiction, Poetry, Films, Articles, and Music. He lives in New York City.



“[Morrison’s] stories of adventure after the Bounty mutiny makes for a powerful historical journal packed with nautical adventure and perfect for any nautical history library.”—Midwest Book Review

“It’s a curiously, entertaining and instructive for age-of-fighting-sail or Herman Melville enthusiasts.”—Naval Review

“[This book] can be expected to add richly and pervasively to general knowledge of that historically and historiographically conspicuous incident.”—Mariner’s Mirror

“For anyone interested in the Bounty saga, this volume is a most worthwhile addition to the extant non-fiction reading currently available.”—Sea History

“Editor Maxton . . . has done an excellent job in preparing Morrison’s works for publication, and supplemented them with a valuable commentary, which makes After the Bounty a good read for anyone interested in life at sea in the age of sail or the history and culture of the South Seas.”—

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