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The true story of the 1789 mutiny on the Bounty is far more complicated than suggested by film versions of the event, which have emphasized the gratuitous cruelty of the ship's captain, William Bligh. The psychological drama that played out in the South Seas starring Bligh, the efficient disciplinarian, and his mate, the sensitive and proud Fletcher Christian, led to, among other things: one of the most amazing navigational feats in maritime history, the founding of a British settlement that continues to exist today, and a court-martial in England that answered the question of which of ten captured mutineers should live - and which should die - for their actions.

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