Billy Buddâ??s life takes an unexpected turn when he is pressed into service in the Royal Navy at the turn of the nineteenth century. Two recent mutinies and war with Revolutionary France make for tense conditions aboard HMS Bellipotent, and when the popular Billy inexplicably falls afoul of the jealous master-at-arms and commits a rash, though sorely provoked, act, it is up to Captain Vere to administer appropriate justice.
Herman Melvilleâ??s Billy Budd was unfinished at the time of the writerâ??s death, but was discovered in 1919 by Raymond Weaver, Melvilleâ??s first biographer. Transcription errors and difficulty interpreting Melvilleâ??s notes on the text meant an authoritative edition was not published until 1962. Billy Budd has been produced for film, stage, and television, with the most famous adaptation being the Benjamin Britten opera, with libretto by E.M. Forster and Eric Crozier.
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