Unlike many authors covering the topic, Verne concentrates on the deposed captain of the Bounty, William Bligh. After mutineers forced Bligh into the Bounty's 23 foot launch on April 28, 1789, he led loyal crew members on a 6,710 kilometer journey to safety, reaching Timor 47 days later.
The original text was written by Gabriel Marcel (1843–1909), a geographer from National Library in Paris. Jules Verne’s work was proofreading. Verne bought the rights to the text for 300 francs.