Synopses & Reviews
He challenged the greatest empire on earth with a ragtag bunch of renegades and brought it to its knees. Empire of Blue Water
is the real story of the pirates of the Caribbean.
Henry Morgan, a twenty-year-old Welshman, crossed the Atlantic in 1655, hell-bent on making his fortune. Over the next three decades, his exploits in the Caribbean in the service of the English became legendary. His daring attacks on the mighty Spanish Empire on land and at sea determined the fates of kings and queens, and his victories helped shape the destiny of the New World.
Morgan gathered disaffected European sailors and soldiers, hard-bitten adventurers, runaway slaves, and vicious cutthroats, and turned them into the most feared army in the Western Hemisphere. Sailing out from the English stronghold of Port Royal, Jamaica, "the wickedest city in the New World," Morgan and his men terrorized Spanish merchant ships and devastated the cities where great riches in silver, gold, and gems lay waiting. His last raid, a daring assault on the fabled city of Panama, helped break Spain's hold on the Americas forever.
Awash with bloody battles, political intrigues, natural disaster, and a cast of characters more compelling, bizarre, and memorable than any found in a Hollywood swashbuckler including the notorious pirate L'Ollonais, the soul-tortured King Philip IV of Spain, and Thomas Modyford, the crafty English governor of Jamaica Empire of Blue Water brilliantly re-creates the passions and the violence of the age of exploration and empire.
"Talty's vigorous history of 17th-century pirates of the Caribbean will satisfy even fickle Jack Sparrow fans....A pleasure to read from bow to stern. (Grade: A)" Entertainment Weekly
"Stephan Talty's delicious new book succeeds where other volumes of history fail. The story sticks to the facts but relates them with such verve and apparent ease that it reads like adventure fiction....He has written a ripping yarn, worthy of its gaudy subject." Dallas Morning News
"Talty's well-researched account weaves together myriad political and financial interests in the New World." Booklist
"Talty tells a stirring tale, often using an imaginary crewman, Roderick, who sails with Morgan, fights for loot, drinks it away, and generally exemplifies the rough-and-ready ethos of the richest and most sinful city in the Americas, Port Royal, Jamaica, whose destruction by earthquake and tsunami in 1692 is given a chapter." Library Journal
"[C]ontain passages that are absolutely riveting, sometimes for their high-seas action, sometimes for their wicked illumination of life aboard an antiquated vessel at sea for months on end....Jack Sparrow and his ilk would surely approve." Toronto Star
"Swashbuckling history at its bloody, blood-soaked best, and a mirror to our own times." Tom Reiss, author of The Orientalist
"Morgan proves an irresistible hero. A thrilling and fascinating adventure." Caroline Alexander, author of The Endurance and The Bounty
"Rollicking...with style and energy Talty tells a tale of boundless wickedness." William M. Fowler, author of Empires at War
Awash with bloody battles, political intrigue, and an incredible epoch-ending natural disaster, this is the real-life story of Henry Morgan, the legendary pirate of the Caribbean, who in the 17th century challenged the greatest military power on earth with a ragtag bunch of renegades and brought it to its knees.
About the Author
Stephan Talty is a widely published journalist who has contributed to The New York Times Magazine, GQ, Men's Journal, and many other publications. His book Mulatto America: At the Crossroads of Black and White Culture was published to critical acclaim in 2003.