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Pitcairn Islands Study Center

News - February 19, 2013

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PHONE: 707-965-6244
TEXT:   707-229-1340

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PHONE: 559-592-0980 or

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  [California Study Center]


PITCAIRN ISLANDS STUDY CENTER, Pacific Union College, Angwin, California USA.

Herbert Ford, 559-592-0980, 559-732-0313.


Celebrating Charles Nordhoff and James Normal Hall book trilogy

                        ANGWIN (Napa County) Calif., February 19, 2013—One of earth's smallest, most remote islands is set to honor two American authors whose writing made it one of earth's most famous places.

                        On February 27, 2013, Pitcairn Island in the South Pacific Ocean will be issuing a set of three postage stamps that honor authors Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall. The pair co-wrote a trilogy of books the world-wide distribution of which has put the tiny, remote island into the minds of millions of persons around the world.

                        The stamps depict the covers of the three Bounty Trilogy books which are titled, "Mutiny on the Bounty," "Men Against the Sea," and "Pitcairn's Island." First published in the early 1930s by Little, Brown and Company, the books have since been sold world-wide in hundreds of thousands of copies in several languages.

                        Nordhoff and Hall's trilogy also inspired five Hollywood-type motion pictures that also brought Pitcairn Island to world attention. The first, produced in1935 by Australian film maker Charles Chauvel, used a young, teen-aged actor named Errol Flynn as the hero. Each of the movies were titled "Mutiny on the Bounty," and re-runs of some of them continue to be shown on television.

                        Nordhoff and Hall first became acquainted in 1917 when the two were members of the famed French Lafayette Escadrille air corps in World War I. Returning to America after the war, they began writing articles for the Atlantic Monthly magazine. After being hired by Harper's Magazine to write travel articles on the South Pacific, they decided to make Tahiti their home. They successfully write several books together, finally reaching the pinnacle of their success with the publication of the Bounty Trilogy. Other books followed, but their literary stardom gradually faded as depression and ill health began to plague their lives. Nordhoff died in 1947 in Santa Barbara, California; Hall in Tahiti in 1951.

                        Pitcairn Island, located about midway between Panama and New Zealand in the Pacific, is today home to about 60 persons, fewer than 50 of whom are direct descendants of sailors who mutinied in 1789 while on the British ship H.M.S. Bounty in the Tongan islands. Seeking to hide from being captured and returned to England to stand trial for the mutiny, nine of the mutineers chanced to find Pitcairn Island, where they successfully hide away from the rest of the world for nearly two decades.

                        The remoteness of Pitcairn Island is seen in that the closest other inhabited island - Mangareva - is 310 miles away, and the nearest hospital is 1,200 miles away in Tahiti. The only remaining piece of Great Britain's once numerous lands in the Pacific, Pitcairn is today in the midst of a push for tourism, for visitors to come to its shores, in contrast to their mutineer forefathers' desire to hide away from the world.

                        Philatelists and others desiring copies of the Bounty Trilogy stamps may obtain them at information at