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124 East 74th Street
New York
USA
NY 10021
Contact Donald Heald
Telephone +1 212 744 3505
Fax +1 212 628 7847
Specialists Colour Plate Books, Illustrated Books, Natural History, Voyages & Travel, Americana, Maps & Atlases, Ornithology, Botany, Native Americans, Cartography, Decorative & Sporting Prints
Donald A. Heald Rare Books
Stand

BLIGH, William (1754-1817)

An Account of the Mutinous Seizure of the Bounty, With the Succeeding Hardships of the Crew. To Which is added, Secret Anecdotes of the Otaheitean Females, London: Printed for Bentley and Co. And sold by H. D. Symonds, [circa 1792]

8 x 4 3/4 inches. [4],[9]-76pp. Engraved frontispiece. Modern blue morocco backed cloth boards, spine lettered in gilt. Provenance: Paul Peralta-Ramos (small red inked ownership stamp on endpaper).

First edition of this rare anonymous narrative.

One of two Bently variants published simultaneously,the other bearing an imprint to be sold by Bell and Taylor and others. According to Hill, Bently based their publication on a slightly earlier account by publisher Robert Turner.

"Following Bligh's return to England in March of 1790, publisher Robert Turner recognized that the public had an insatiable interest in the story of the mutiny. Turner believed that he could capitalize on this interest by stealing the thunder from Bligh's official account, then in preparation.
Culling information from newspaper reports, Hawkesworth's Voyages, and other recent works on Tahiti, Turner published the sensationalized version...An Account on the Mutinous Seizure of the Bounty ...The [later] Bently version differed in its larger format, the inclusion of an engraving of Bligh in his nightshirt, and most importantly, as Stephen Walters points out, probably the first published clue to Fletcher Christian's post-mutiny whereabouts: the publisher reports information from a voyager that Christian and the mutineers had recently left Tahiti with promises to return, and concludes from this information 'that they have turned pirates'" (Hill). This edition is not in Hill, who only owned a 1987 reprint edition.

"An anonymous narrative. The account of the Mutiny is based on Bligh's book; the 'Secret Anecdotes of the Otaheitean Females' are extracted from Hawkesworth" (Ferguson). This latter account of Tahitian women is sometimes wanting, likely by a censor's hand. To account for the seeming mispagination at the beginning of the text, Ferguson notes that, "Apparently an error occurred in numbering the pages."

Bibliography
Ferguson 131; ESTC N29876; cf. Hill 1825; Howgego B107
£8,500