14 books like Mr Bligh's Bad Language

By Greg Dening,

Here are 14 books that Mr Bligh's Bad Language fans have personally recommended if you like Mr Bligh's Bad Language. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Batavia's Graveyard: The True Story of the Mad Heretic Who Led History's Bloodiest Mutiny

Keith Grint Author Of Mutiny and Leadership

From my list on mutiny, and how to lead or avoid them.

Why am I passionate about this?

My academic writing is focused on leadership, and leading mutinies is probably the most dangerous thing any leader can do: the chances of success are slim and the likelihood of the leaders surviving even a successful mutiny are negligible. So why do it? The book suggests an answer through a typology of dissent that is rooted in the environment mutineers find themselves in, but that still doesn’t explain by very similar conditions generate very different outcomes. To explain that I turned to two ideas: the importance of the moral economy and the role of the puer robustus – the inveterate recalcitrant who takes it upon themselves to resolve the despotic situation.

Keith's book list on mutiny, and how to lead or avoid them

Keith Grint Why did Keith love this book?

If ever there was a mutiny that road roughshod over the romantic assumptions that mutineers were the ‘better angels’ of these events, then the mutiny on the Batavia is it. In 1628 the largest ship owned by the Dutch East India Company during the Golden Age of the Netherlands is shipwrecked and taken over by Jeronimus Cornelisz and his gang of mutineers. They then establish a dystopian world on a deserted island and systematically murder many of those who survive before the last survivors are rescued. You need a strong stomach to read this, but it is an important warning for idealists and romantics.

By Mike Dash,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Batavia's Graveyard as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the bestselling author of Tulipomania comes Batavia’s Graveyard, the spellbinding true story of mutiny, shipwreck, murder, and survival.

It was the autumn of 1628, and the Batavia, the Dutch East India Company’s flagship, was loaded with a king’s ransom in gold, silver, and gems for her maiden voyage to Java. The Batavia was the pride of the Company’s fleet, a tangible symbol of the world’s richest and most powerful commercial monopoly. She set sail with great fanfare, but the Batavia and her gold would never reach Java, for the Company had also sent along a new employee, Jeronimus Corneliszoon,…


Book cover of Mutiny at the Margins: New Perspectives on the Indian Uprising of 1857

Keith Grint Author Of Mutiny and Leadership

From my list on mutiny, and how to lead or avoid them.

Why am I passionate about this?

My academic writing is focused on leadership, and leading mutinies is probably the most dangerous thing any leader can do: the chances of success are slim and the likelihood of the leaders surviving even a successful mutiny are negligible. So why do it? The book suggests an answer through a typology of dissent that is rooted in the environment mutineers find themselves in, but that still doesn’t explain by very similar conditions generate very different outcomes. To explain that I turned to two ideas: the importance of the moral economy and the role of the puer robustus – the inveterate recalcitrant who takes it upon themselves to resolve the despotic situation.

Keith's book list on mutiny, and how to lead or avoid them

Keith Grint Why did Keith love this book?

This is a multi-volume work that poses several questions surrounding the events of 1857. First, while the British called it a ‘mutiny’, the rebels were clear that their ‘rebellion’ was as much to do with freeing the country from the British colonial power as it was to do with concerns about cultural taboos surrounding the use of animal fat in weapon cartridges. Second, the voices of the rebels/mutineers, for the first time, outnumber those of the colonial power. So often in mutinies we only hear the voices of the authorities, here we are surrounded by their opponents.

By Gavin Rand (editor), Crispin Bates (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mutiny at the Margins as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Mutiny at the Margins series takes a fresh look at the Revolt of 1857 from a variety of original and unusual perspectives, focusing in particular on neglected socially marginal groups and geographic areas which have hitherto tended to be unrepresented in studies of this cataclysmic event in British imperial and Indian historiography.

Military Aspects of the Indian Uprising (Volume 4) deals with how battles were won and lost and how the army re-organised after the revolt. It also touches on the thorny issue of how to define the events of 1857-as a rebellion, a national uprising or a small…


Book cover of The Christmas Truce: Myth, Memory, and the First World War

Keith Grint Author Of Mutiny and Leadership

From my list on mutiny, and how to lead or avoid them.

Why am I passionate about this?

My academic writing is focused on leadership, and leading mutinies is probably the most dangerous thing any leader can do: the chances of success are slim and the likelihood of the leaders surviving even a successful mutiny are negligible. So why do it? The book suggests an answer through a typology of dissent that is rooted in the environment mutineers find themselves in, but that still doesn’t explain by very similar conditions generate very different outcomes. To explain that I turned to two ideas: the importance of the moral economy and the role of the puer robustus – the inveterate recalcitrant who takes it upon themselves to resolve the despotic situation.

Keith's book list on mutiny, and how to lead or avoid them

Keith Grint Why did Keith love this book?

The Christmas ‘Truce’ of December 1914 is both well-known and widely mythologized. What Crocker does is take the conventional account that insists on a sanitized and good-natured holiday break between warring nations, and subjects that narrative to a critical approach. This exposes a whole gamut of alternative understandings, including the way that the military establishments on both sides struggled to contain the dissent and fought hard to represent it, not as a mutiny, but as a mutual agreement between two chivalrous armies. 

By Terri Blom Crocker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Christmas Truce as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In late December 1914, German and British soldiers on the western front initiated a series of impromptu, unofficial ceasefires. Enlisted men across No Man's Land abandoned their trenches and crossed enemy lines to sing carols, share food and cigarettes, and even play a little soccer. Collectively known as the Christmas Truce, these fleeting moments of peace occupy a mythical place in remembrances of World War I. Yet new accounts suggest that the heartwarming tale ingrained in the popular imagination bears little resemblance to the truth.

In this detailed study, Terri Blom Crocker provides the first comprehensive analysis of both scholarly…


Book cover of The Bounty: The True Story of the Mutiny on the Bounty

Glynis Ridley Author Of The Discovery of Jeanne Baret: A Story of Science, the High Seas, and the First Woman to Circumnavigate the Globe

From my list on famous sea voyages we think we know, but don’t.

Why am I passionate about this?

I remember the first time I stepped onto a sailing ship and that was the full-size replica of the Cutty Sark at Greenwich, London. The younger me descended below decks and started to imagine the enormity of risking everything on an expedition into the unknown. Since that time, I’ve become an eighteenth-century scholar, able to channel my wonder at the age of sail into researching, teaching, writing, and broadcasting about many aspects of the period. I hope the books on this list help you journey all over the globe with a sense of what it was like to trust your life to a self-contained floating world heading into unchartered waters. 

Glynis' book list on famous sea voyages we think we know, but don’t

Glynis Ridley Why did Glynis love this book?

My first exposure to the 1789 mutiny on H.M.S. Bounty was watching the 1935 Best Picture Oscar winner, Mutiny on the Bounty, in which a sadistic Captain William Bligh had sailors keel-hauled at the drop of a naval hat. Later film versions make Bligh socially awkward, lacking first-mate Fletcher Christian’s easy rapport with officers and men. What if none of the dramatizations have it right?

I was interested in Caroline Alexander’s emphasis on how Bligh struggled against class prejudice. I hadn’t realized that so many men wanted to stay with Bligh that there wasn’t room for them all in the cutter in which he was cast adrift, nor that he navigated 3,618 miles of ocean on starvation rations to get them back to safety. Reading this book, I felt Bligh has been maligned by every dramatization of the mutiny.  

By Caroline Alexander,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Bounty as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

More than two centuries after Master's Mate Fletcher Christian led a mutiny against Lieutenant William Bligh on a small, armed transport vessel called Bounty, the true story of this enthralling adventure has become obscured by the legend. Combining vivid characterization and deft storytelling, Caroline Alexander shatters the centuries-old myths surrounding this story. She brilliantly shows how, in a desperate attempt to save one man from the gallows and another from ignominy, two powerful families came together and began to create the version of history we know today. The true story of the mutiny on the Bounty is an epic of…


Book cover of H. M. S. Bounty: A True Account of the Notorious Mutiny

Kevin Sites Author Of The Ocean Above Me

From my list on true-life sea adventures that blow you overboard.

Why am I passionate about this?

You have to appreciate the intrepid nature of those who ventured out to sea in the days before satellite-enabled navigation, modern weather forecasting, and Coast Guard rescue swimmers. The books I’ve listed span a time of great global exploration occurring simultaneously with the engines of novel economic development. Most of that development was based on the exploitation of human and natural resources. A thread of curiosity through all of these picks is how those individuals most directly involved in its physical pursuit and transport were rarely the same who benefitted from it. But instead lived lives of constant hardship and danger – profiting, if at all, only in the adventure itself.

Kevin's book list on true-life sea adventures that blow you overboard

Kevin Sites Why did Kevin love this book?

In 1789 Lieutenant Fletcher Christian and 18 mutineers turned on the “insufferable” Captain Bligh of the HMS Bounty and set him and 18 loyal crew members adrift in the South Pacific.

The story has loomed so large in popular imagination it has inspired at least 14 books and five films. But the late British journalist, historian, and diver Alexander McKee brought the disparate elements of the story together in perhaps its most accurate, entertaining, and coherent form–way back in 1962.

There’s always more than one side to a story and McKee interrogates them ruthlessly. The journalist in me applauds his efforts to comb through historical records, personal journals, and every piece of flotsam and jetsam he finds to present one of the most compelling true, sea stories ever written.

Not one of villains and heroes, but of the burdens of leadership and the fraying bonds of loyalty within one of…

By Alexander McKee,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked H. M. S. Bounty as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Quality secondhand book


Book cover of Mutiny on the Bounty: A saga of sex, sedition, mayhem and mutiny, and survival against extraordinary odds

Ann Göth Author Of Volcanic Adventures in Tonga: Species Conservation on Tin Can Island

From my list on sweeping you to remote islands in the South Pacific.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an Australian writer with a passion for all books about the South Pacific. Thirty years ago, I embarked on a two-year mission to the Kingdom of Tonga, and soon after, my job as a naturalist on cruise ships took me to many beautiful, fascinating, and often very remote island nations in that region. Nowadays, my jobs as a writer, scientist, high school teacher, and mother leave little room to navigate to that beautiful part of the world, but I continue to read whatever seems even slightly related to the South Pacific Theme. I hope you enjoy the books on this list as much as I have!

Ann's book list on sweeping you to remote islands in the South Pacific

Ann Göth Why did Ann love this book?

I read this book before we embarked on a two-year mission to Tonga, and it created in me a picture of the South Pacific that proved to be somewhat misleading – largely because I didn’t pay enough attention to the fact that it was set in the 1700s and on Tahiti, which is quite different from Tonga.

Nevertheless, it was worth reading. First, because it is still a thrilling story, even after so many years. And second, because little did I know that some months later I would travel on rickety rusty fishing boats to visit remote islands at roughly the same location where the mutiny on the Bounty had occurred about 200 years before me.

The version I read was published in 1980 (by Sir John D Barrow), but I recommend this version as it makes the topic more accessible. It is a piece of South Pacific history that…

By Peter FitzSimons,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mutiny on the Bounty as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The mutiny on HMS Bounty, in the South Pacific on 28 April 1789, is one of history's great epics - and in the hands of Peter FitzSimons it comes to life as never before.

Commissioned by the Royal Navy to collect breadfruit plants from Tahiti and take them to the West Indies, the Bounty's crew found themselves in a tropical paradise. Five months later, they did not want to leave. Under the leadership of Fletcher Christian most of the crew mutinied soon after sailing from Tahiti, setting Captain William Bligh and 18 loyal crewmen adrift in a small open boat.…


Book cover of Islands and Beaches: Discourse on a Silent Land

Christina Thompson Author Of Sea People: The Puzzle of Polynesia

From my list on Polynesian history.

Why am I passionate about this?

A dual citizen of Australia and the US, Christina Thompson has traveled extensively in the Pacific, including through most of the archipelagoes in Polynesia. She is the author of two books about Polynesia: a memoir of her marriage to a Māori man called Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All and a history of the ancient voyagers of the Pacific called Sea People. She edits the literary journal Harvard Review and teaches in the writing program at Harvard University Extension. 

Christina's book list on Polynesian history

Christina Thompson Why did Christina love this book?

The Australian historian Greg Dening was one of the great creative thinkers of the late twentieth century, and his influence is everywhere in the modern history and anthropology of the Pacific. Dening, who died in 2008, was especially fascinated by ambiguous interactions and encounters between people from different worlds. One of his earliest books, Islands and Beaches, focuses on the period in the Marquesas when Europeans first arrived, bringing God, guns, germs, and a whole host of other complications. At once sparklingly and scholarly, it tells the vivid story of this tragic and consequential period in Polynesian history.

By Greg Dening,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Islands and Beaches as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Daughter of the Reef

Dan E. Feltham Author Of Under the Southern Cross

From my list on stories of the sea.

Why am I passionate about this?

I learned to swim at age two; the oceans became my lifetime playpen, and sailboats my adult toys. I began to sail at age 14 and put away my soggy deck shoes at the age of 70. Now at age 88, I write about those adventures—stories of wartime Vietnam, aerial exploration in North Africa, the Persian Gulf, ports of Mexico, and racing or cruising sailboats to Hawaii, Fiji, Tahiti, New Zealand, Bermuda, Mexico, Panama, the Caribbean and stops along the way. Life-long friends, romance, islands, and every kind of ocean weather fill my memories. Climb aboard my pages at my website and sail through a portion of my life.

Dan's book list on stories of the sea

Dan E. Feltham Why did Dan love this book?

I read this story while doing research for my own books about how life on islands like Tahiti used to be hundreds of years ago, prior to any contact with the Western World. The sea was master and anyone lucky enough to be cast ashore after a hurricane was blessed by the Gods—even a princess from a different coral island. Clare Coleman did years of research to write a series of three fascinating books that take you to the days before South Pacific discovery—of voyaging outrigger canoes, native taboos, pagan rituals, exotic dancing, and romance. The book is as good as any description of what Jacques Rousseau referred to as the culture of the ‘Noble Savage’.

This first of Coleman’s Ancient Tahiti series, continues with Sister of the Sun and Child of the Dawn, is perfect reading for anyone that loves island history, native lore, and adventure.

By Clare Coleman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Daughter of the Reef as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A chief’s daughter is storm-tossed onto the strange land of Tahiti in a novel that “shows that the ancient South Pacific can be a dangerous paradise” (Publishers Weekly).

In the first volume of the Ancient Tahiti series, Tepua, the daughter of a chief sails from her coral atoll home toward her planned, and ritually mandated, marriage. But she never reaches her destination because a violent storm damages her vessel and leaves her stranded on the shores of Tahiti, a land previously unknown to her. She is made unwelcome because of her foreignness and is victimized because of her weakness and…


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