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Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti

Munity on the bounty - 1935

Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)

Mutiny on the bounty - 1935
Mutiny on the bounty - 1962

Mutiny on the Bounty (1962)

Mutiny on the bounty - 1962
The Bounty 1984

The Bounty (1984)

The Bounty 1984


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South Pacific Books

Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life

Herman Melville’s Typee (1846) is a fictionalized account of Melville’s sojourn in the Marquesas Islands. The book was originally published as an authentic travel narrative and Melville claimed the literal truth of the facts.
Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life is the first book by American writer Herman Melville, published in the early part of 1846, when Melville was 26 years old.

What are the Typees known for?

  • Being cannibals.
  • Their beautifully textured cloth.
  • Being peaceful and friendly.
  • Being the most cultured native tribe.

Omoo: A Narrative of Adventures in the South Seas

Omoo: A Narrative of Adventures in the South Seas is the second book by American writer Herman Melville, first published in London in 1847, and a sequel to his first South Sea narrative Typee, also based on the author’s experiences in the South Pacific.
Herman Melville’s Typee (1846) is a fictionalized account of Melville’s sojourn in the Marquesas Islands. The book was originally published as an authentic travel narrative and Melville claimed the literal truth of the facts. … “A story of a man’s life among cannibals in a romantic and escapist setting”
So far several weeks, Herman had to live in captivity with the cannibals, although they did not attack him in any way. … Melville took a boat hook and plunged it into his body. Herman was around 25 years old when he went back home. To cope with his expenses, he put his adventurous stories into books

The Bounty: The true story of the mutiny on the Bounty In the South Seas

The mutiny on the Royal Navy vessel HMS Bounty occurred in the South Pacific Ocean on 28 April 1789. Disaffected crewmen, led by acting-Lieutenant Fletcher Christian, seized control of the ship from their captain, Lieutenant William Bligh, and set him and 18 loyalists adrift in the ship’s open launch.
In January 1790, the Bounty settled on Pitcairn Island, an isolated and uninhabited volcanic island more than 1,000 miles east of Tahiti. The mutineers who remained on Tahiti were captured and taken back to England where three were hanged.
William Bligh was an officer in the Royal Navy and was the victim of a mutiny on his ship, the Bounty, in 1789. Bligh (1754–1817) had a reputation for having a volatile temper and often clashed with his fellow officers and crewmen.

Noa Noa: The Tahitian Journal (Paul Gauguin)

This Dover edition, first published in 1985, is an unabridged republication of the work first published by Nicholas L. Brown, New York, in 1919, under the title Noa Noa. This edition also contains new illustrations, which were first published in The Intimate Journals of Paul Gaiguin by William Heinemann, Ltd., London, in 1923. The translations of the artist’s inscriptons on these illustrations are new, prepared especially for this Dover edition.

“On the eighth of June, during the night, after a sixty-three
days voyage, sixty-three days of feverish expectancy, we
perceived strange fires, moving in zigzags on the sea. From
the somber sky a black cone with jagged indentions became

We turned Moorea and had Tahiti before us.

Several hours later dawn appeared, and we gently
approached the reefs, entered the channel, and anchored
without accidents in the roadsted.”

In the South Seas: Robert Louis Stevenson

Towards the end of the Equator cruise, RLS started trying to put together the material he had collected about South Seas culture, language, traditions and society: anthropology, history, sociology together with personal impressions. He had already agreed with S. S. McClure (in 1888) to sell him “letters” from the South Seas to be syndicated in newspapers and magazines. These he hoped to use for materials for the “big book” on the Pacific.

The volume published as In the South Seas was edited by Sidney Colvin and published after RLS’s death in 1896.

RLS felt he had unique material: “such wild stories, such beautiful scenes, such singular intimacies, such manners and traditions, so incredible a mixture of the beautiful and horrible, the savage and civilised. […] I propose to call the book The South Seas…”

Frangipani by Célestine Hitiura

FRANGIPANI, Celestine Vaite’s first novel to be published in the United States, takes place in Tahiti and centers on a woman named Materena Mahi, tracing her life from young motherhood to when her only daughter is about to pursue her own adventures in life.

The reader will laugh along with Materena as she deals with her man Pito (the father of her children, whom she eventually marries) and watches as their relationship changes through the years. She admits she’s a very good listener, with people from all over coming to confide in her. She dispenses advice regularly, but her main concerns are always with her daughter Leilani, part of the new breed of women of Tahiti who are modern and turning their backs on the old ways. It is “old-world clashes with the new” when it comes to Materena and Leilani, but underneath it all there is a lot of love between them.


Each chapter seems to be a chapter out of Materena’s life, making FRANGIPANI read almost like a short story collection, but there is a common thread to all these stories. Materena grows from an inexperienced mother to one who can dole out wisdom to people off the street. Actually, she’s already dispensing advice starting from the first chapter:


Call It Courage - Armstrong Sperry

Call It Courage (published as The Boy Who Was Afraid in the United Kingdom) is a 1940 children’s novel written and illustrated by American author Armstrong Sperry. The novel won the Newbery Medal for excellence in American children’s literature in 1941.


The book Call It Courage is a novel of 95 pages. It is about a boy who tries to overcome his fear of the sea.

Call It Courage is a story set in the Pacific Islands. It chronicles the journey of Mafatu, the son of the chief of Hikueru Island, Tavana Nui. Mafatu is afraid of the sea due to witnessing his mother die while he was a young child, which makes him a shame to his father, and referred to as a coward among his tribe. Mafatu takes a dugout canoe and sets sail into the ocean without knowing where he will end up. He is caught in a storm and the canoe is lost. He lands on a deserted island and learns to hunt and fish for himself, along with his companions Uri, a small yellow dog, and Kivi, an albatross.

The book was originally published in 1940 and has had numerous printings since then, and has been translated into many languages.

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