Mr Bligh's Bad Language: Passion, Power and Theater on H. M. Armed Vessel Bounty

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Cambridge University Press, Jun 26, 1992 - History - 445 pages
Captain Bligh and the voyage of the Bounty are the starting point of this new study of the famous mutiny in history, literature and film. By juxtaposing an account of the mutiny with an analysis of its evolving place in history and culture, Mr. Bligh's Bad Language offers a new interpretation of the mutiny in the context of its historical and cultural representations. Beginning with an analysis of naval life and ritual aboard the Bounty, Greg Dening argues that the famous mutiny did not take place due to punitive violence, as Captain Bligh is shown to be one of the least violent of British Navy captains. Instead, he argues, Captain Bligh misunderstood the theatrical nature of shipboard life, especially his role as captain. Moving to a larger stage, the scope of the book shifts to the reception of the mutiny in England in the eighteenth century. Connecting the voyage of the Bounty with the cultural exploration and revolutions of the age, Greg Dening shows that a mythology arose almost immediately around the participants of the mutiny and their actions, a mythology that has been continually reinterpreted into twentieth century literature and film. Gracefully written, Mr. Bligh's Bad Language is an anthropological history of a new order, weaving the history of the Bounty with its role in our culture. Using a range of influences from Diderot to Foucault, Greg Dening reconstructs the voyage of the Bounty as moving between history and mythology, circumventing a dozen discourses.
 

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MR. BLIGH'S BAD LANGUAGE: Passion, Power and Theatre on the Bounty

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A learned, humane, provocative ``creative reading'' of the mutiny on the Bounty—the events; their meaning and representation in native lore, British life, the theater, and cinema; and their ... Read full review

Mr Bligh's bad language: passion, power, and theatre on the Bounty

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Mutiny on the Bounty summons to the popular mind images of violence and power on the high seas. Dening restores a sense of perspective in this fascinating study of the Bounty through images of space ... Read full review

Contents

Narrative I
35
Reflection
113
Narrative I
189
the Sublime 239
239
Reflection I
253
Narrative I
309
Imagined than Described 324 Poore Orfing 329
329
Reflection I
339
Notes
375
Reference Bibliography
397
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