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New biography Bligh: William Bligh in the South Seas

5 September 2011

Anne Salmond creates buzz overseas with her new biography Bligh: William Bligh in the South Seas

Penguin Group (NZ) and co-publisher University of California Press are proud that Anne Salmond’s new biography about William Bligh is already receiving great critical acclaim. Leading world scholar on the Pacific, Patrick V. Kirch, states that with Bligh, “Salmond has added another masterpiece to her already brilliant repertoire.” Likewise, a leading Captain Cook scholar, Nicholas Thomas, author of Cook: The Extraordinary Voyages, states “… her book situates Bligh in the Pacific more effectively than any previous attempt. Bligh reveals not a British history with an exotic setting but a genuinely cross-cultural history that remains thought-provoking to this day.”

William Bligh is perhaps the most misunderstood character of the early Pacific explorers and colonisers. Award-winning anthropologist Anne Salmond in her new book, Bligh: William Bligh in the South Seas, reframes existing studies and brings a bold revisionist approach to the topic – as only Salmond can do. From 1777 and through all of Bligh’s triumphs and tribulations, Salmond charts Bligh’s three Pacific voyages – with Captain James Cook in the Resolution, on board the Bounty, and as commander of the Providence – and much more beyond.
Salmond breaks new ground by portraying the Pacific islanders as key players for the first time and shows this episode as important to the history of the wider world, not simply of the West.

Bligh: William Bligh in the South Seas has just released in New Zealand and will release overseas in October.


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