Does William Bligh deserve his infamy?
Bligh’s story would have been largely unremarkable but for a mutiny aboard his ship the Bounty in 1789. This made his name a household word and his actions the subject of fierce public debate that followed him for the rest of his life.
Bligh’s tenacity and determination to overcome all opposition were hallmarks of his career that earned him both praise and loathing. Bligh played many parts in a life crowded with adventure – hero in battle, victim of circumstance, governor of New South Wales and loving family man – but his contradictory personality polarised those who dealt with him.
This companion book to the museum's exhibition Bligh - Hero or Villain? examines events of Bligh’s life and aspects of his character through objects and images. Was Bligh a hero? Was he a villain? We invite you to consider the evidence and form your own opinion.
Written by Dr Nigel Erskine, Senior Curator at the Australian National Maritime Museum
Features illustrations, maps, notes and index