HALL, James Norman (1887-1951)
[BOUNTY; TAHITI] James Norman Hall : typed letter, signed, by the co-author of Mutiny on the Bounty.
Typed letter,  pages, on thin paper, 280 x 215 mm, headed ‘At Sea, about 500 miles from N.Z. Sunday, August 19th, 1934’; with pencil map of ship’s journey through the islands of Tahiti and three lines of handwritten text; a private letter full of vivid, detailed descriptions of Tahiti as if it were being seen ‘with the eye of a visitor for the first time’ (Hall’s own words); addressed to ‘Dear Pauline’ (internal references indicate she was a close personal friend), and signed at the foot ‘Yours, J.N. Hall’; the letter is in fine condition, but without its original envelope.
A colourful, unpublished letter by American writer James Norman Hall, co-author, with James Nordhoff, of the Bounty trilogy (Mutiny on the Bounty 1932, Men Against the Sea 1934, and Pitcairn’s Island 1934), written while Hall was apparently researching a new novel. It contains Hall’s lengthy impressions of Tahiti – its sights, scenes and peoples – as well as a voyage to Rarotonga (Cook Islands).
The following passages are typical of Hall’s highly romantic style:
‘Against the sky suffused with a soft tropical pink the peaks of the island stood out like the turrets of some medieval castle. The sea seemed to be alight except where the shadows flung themselves across the strait, here it was a deep cobalt. Slowly night hovered over the reef, the fluid colour of the water changed from blue to pink to indigo, the peaks of Moorea took on fantastic shapes, imagination made them the towers of Camelot, the sky become a delicate pink, to gold …’
‘… the wharf was a riot of color for the natives wear the most exotic colors in their dressing, and the soft brown skins show up to advantage in scarlet, red, white, and blue …’