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The Pirate Warsby Peter Earle
Synopses & Reviews
Investigating the fascination pirates hold over the popular imagination, Peter Earle takes the fable of ocean-going Robin Hoods sailing under the "banner of King Death" and contrasts it with the murderous reality of robbery, torture and death and the freedom of a short, violent life on the high seas.
The book charts 250 years of piracy, from Cornwall to the Caribbean, from the 16th century to the hanging of the last pirate captain in Boston in 1835. Along the way, we meet characters like Captain Thomas Cocklyn, chosen as commander of his ship "on account of his brutality and ignorance," and Edward Teach, the notorious "Blackbeard," who felt of his crew "that if he did not now and then kill one of them they would forget who he was."
Using material from British Admiralty records, this is an account of the Golden Age of pirates and of the men of the legitimate navies of the world charged with the task of finally bringing these cutthroats to justice.
"Earle carefully explains the differences among corsairs, privateers, Sallee vessels (Muslim ships) and buccaneers, notable pirates such as Captain William Kidd and Blackbeard come back to life, as piracy is relived in this well-researched compendium." San Antonia Express-News
"Offers revealing historical perspectives enlivened, but not swamped, by vivid accounts of blood-and-guts encounters." Kirkus Reviews
"A well-researched effort on an extensive subject." Library Journal
The Pirate Wars takes the romantic fable of oceangoing Robin Hoods sailing under the "banner of King Death" and contrasts it with the murderous reality of robbery, torture, and murder on the high seas. Noted maritime historian Peter Earle charts centuries of piracy, from Cornwall to the Caribbean, from the sixteenth century to the hanging of the last pirate captain in Boston in 1835. Along the way, we meet characters like Edward Teach, the notorious "Blackbeard," the treasure-hungry Captain Kidd, the dreaded corsairs of Barbary, and the defiant buccaneers of the West Indies.
The Pirate Wars is an account of the golden age of pirates and of the men of the legitimate navies of the world charged with the task of finally bringing these cutthroats to justice.
About the Author
Peter Earle formerly taught at the London School of Economics and is now Emeritus Reader in Economic History at the University of London. He is the author of over a dozen books on English social and maritime history, including two on different aspects of piracy, Corsairs of Malta and Barbary and The Sack of Panama.
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