Book Review-‘Innocent on the ‘Bounty’: The court-martial and pardon of Midshipman Peter Heywood, in letters’ by D. A. Maxton and R. E. Du Rietz (eds)

By Grahame Aldous, published November 2020


It is the ambiguity of the characters and their behaviour that gives the story of the mutiny on the Bounty such great, undiminishing interest. The various parties do not easily divide into right and wrong, good and bad, and attempts to do so, whether in fictional or partial contemporary accounts, need to be treated with caution and an enquiring mind.

This book brings together a welcome collection of first hand Heywood family material, transcribed from a manuscript held at the Newberry Library in Chicago. It is of particular interest to those who wish to consider the fate at court martial of Peter Heywood, a midshipman on the Bounty at the time of the mutiny. Heywood family letters and poems lift the story from the page and bring it to life with joyous Georgian prose and poetry. An introduction and a description of Heywood’s subsequent naval career by the editors provide some context to the collection

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Filed under: Mutiny & Discipline | Other (Eighteenth C)
Subjects include: Biography | Manpower & Life at Sea

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