Ahoy, readers! If you like pirate history and pirate stories, you need to check out this week’s #FridayReads. Keep reading for both fiction and nonfiction all about pirates.
The History of Pirates
Although there was never a universal Pirate Code, 17th and 18th century pirates in the Caribbean and elsewhere were often required to sign up to sets of semiformal rules, which became known as the Articles of Agreement. Pirate articles varied from one captain to another, and sometimes even from one voyage to another, but they generally included provisions for discipline (with death or marooning the common penalty), specifications for each crewmate’s share of treasure, and compensation for the injured. Each crew member was asked to sign or make his mark on the articles, then swear an oath of allegiance on crossed pistols or a human skull or astride a cannon.
This wide-ranging book looks at the reality of pirates’ honor among thieves, from the ancient world right up to the pirates of today’s cargo ships or luxury yachts in the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea. “The History of Pirates” also examines the actions and pirate ethics of less famous pirates and their eras, such as the Japanese pirates of the 13th-16th centuries and Zheng Yi and his wife’s pirate alliance in 19th century China.
With features on particular pirates such as Blackbeard and William Kidd and how the pirate code evolved into today’s merchant shipping contracts, “The History of Pirates” illuminates the broader historical and geographical scope of piracy and provides a fascinating introduction to the reality of life on board a buccaneer ship.
Edward Teach – ‘Blackbeard’-is one of the legends of the so-called ‘golden age of piracy’. There have been so many accounts of his short, bloody career that it is hard to see him and his times in a clear historical light. This new study looks for the man behind the legend, and it gives a vivid insight into the nature of piracy and the naval operations that were launched against it.
The narrative focuses on the roles played by the Governor of Virginia Alexander Spotswood who masterminded the pursuit of Blackbeard, and Lieutenant Robert Maynard of HMS Pearl who led the pursuit and finally cornered Teach and his crew and, after a vicious fight, saw him killed.
In vivid detail, it reveals how the hunt for Blackbeard was orchestrated, how he was tracked down, and the parts played in the drama by the larger-than-life leading characters in this extraordinary story.
This freshly researched study of the pursuit of the notorious pirate and his crew – and of the final fight in which Blackbeard lost his life – makes compelling reading.
The Legend of the Gypsy Hawk
Come then, and I’ll tell you the tale of the Gypsy Hawk and her wily captain – the infamous Zachary Hazard …’
To Amelia Dauphin, freedom is her most prized possession and she will stop at nothing to keep it. Daughter of a Pirate King and the youngest captain in her father’s fleet, she lives on the island of Ile Saint Anne, where pirates roam free and liberty reigns.
Zachary Hazard, captain of the Gypsy Hawk, hasn’t been seen on Ile Saint Anne for six years but his reputation precedes him. To Zach, liberty is the open water and he has little time for the land-bound pirate island.
But when he hears that Amelia’s people could be in danger, he has no choice but to return. And what begins then is a desperate fight for freedom and a legend in the making …
Stevenson’s great tale of pirates and buried treasure. Classics Illustrated tells this wonderful tale in colorful comic strip form, providing an excellent introduction for younger readers. Also includes theme discussions and study questions.