Hello, Pitcairn!

Around the World in Books

On to Pitcairn


I’m scooting over to Pitcairn Island, where I’m relieved to learn it is not nearly as hot as in Kiribati. Pitcairn’s Island is the 3rd book of the Bounty Trilogy by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall, and the summary pasted in the back of the book by the kindly librarians who just got rid of the book (read: free! THANK YOU) says: “The third and climactic volume, Pitcairn’s Island, is the chronicle of those mutineers who escaped capture and, fleeing from the world with their native wives, found refuge in the loneliest island of the Pacific. They lived undiscovered for eighteen years and in that time founded a primitive community whose peace was shattered by a struggle of bitter vengeance.”

Sticking with the absurdly remote theme for this week, I will now be on an island that is 2 miles across, the only inhabited island in the group of 4 Pitcairn Islands that are administered by the British Commonwealth. This island is farther from a major landmass than any other established community in the world. The novel I’ll be reading is based on true events, and the current island residents (all roughly 48 of them, according to Wikipedia) are actual descendants of the Bounty mutineers.

I gotta say, it is really pretty here. In fact, given the weather, the improved food, the fact that I’m ahead of schedule, and the fact that there is supposed to be a big community meal and burning of a model of the Bounty on Bounty Day 1/23, I think I’ll stay here after I finish my book and lie on the beach reading non Around the World books until after Bounty Day. Given that this is an imaginary visit, I won’t have to worry about how the heck to get out of here when I want to, which on a real trip is such a big issue that you have to do something very like immigration paperwork just to visit this place. Conceivably the other 48 islanders want to know a bit about your character and financial stability if you could be stuck here for a ridiculously extended period. Which is, well, very likely if you visit.

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About Beth Parks Aronson

I am Associate Professor of Psychology at Lamar University. Previously, I was a psychologist in private practice in Jenkintown, PA where I specialized in anxiety disorders and working with people living with chronic and life-threatening illnesses. I am a little addicted to good literature. Ok, a lot addicted.
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10 Responses to Hello, Pitcairn!

  1. Pragya says:

    If you like it there, let me know, I will join you. 😀

  2. Allison says:

    My grandparents read a lot of the books about Pitcairn and then traveled there. I have a wooden dolphin carving that they got me there that was carved by one of the descendants of the mutiny (Christensen, I think is the name?)

    • Seriously???? I didn’t even know there were a lot of books on Pitcairn! That is a really exotic trip! Which side? Wow. Ok, I’m blown away. And I’m pretty sure it is Christensen! Send me a picture of your dolphin and I will post it with my next Pitcairn entry or the one after. Next one is going to be pumpkin pilhi. Yum.

  3. Jenny says:

    I don’t have any books on my list from here, but I remember coming across an interesting documentary or something on tv – fascinating, anyway!! You’re on an island kick!

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