A Memoir of the late Captain Peter Heywood

Effingham Wilson, 1832


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Product Description

First edition. 332 pages plus 16 pages of ads to the rear and the errata slip before the preface. Inscribed to the front endpaper: “L Holbrook Gaskell Esq with the author’s kind respects.”, the Holbrook Gaskell in question presumably being the noted Victorian industrialist and collector. The book is firmly bound, it has been sympathetically re-spined in period style in cloth with a paper title label, preserving the original paper covered boards, which are somewhat bumped, creased and slightly marked. The text block is slightly foxed, dusty and toned. An account of Heywood’s life, published shortly after his death, with numerous quotes from letters and diaries, it remains a valuable resource for those wishing to rake over the justice or lack thereof, in the Mutiny on the Bounty and the fate of the captured mutineers. It is still far from clear whether the young Heywood, only fifteen at the time of the mutiny, was complicit in the mutiny, or indeed whether the mutiny itself was mitigated by Bligh’s behaviour. The balance of current opinion seems to lie in Heywood having occupied a far from honourable role in the mutiny, and that he perjured himself at the trial to obtain the pardon, which was granted with the additional help of petitions from influential friends and family, leading to a concern that: “money had bought the lives of some, and others fell sacrifice to their poverty.”. Even this memoir, which is ostensibly entirely favourable and authored by a man who had met Heywood and been allowed access to his records by the family, fails to avoid conveying a sense of ambiguity surrounding the events on the Bounty and at the subsequent trial. Uncommon as a first edition and this copy with the added interest of being inscribed by the author.