Synopses & Reviews
Immensely readable history by the author of Robinson Crusoe incorporates the author's celebrated flair for journalistic detail, and represents the major source of information about piracy in the early 18th century. Defoe recounts the daring and bloody deeds of such outlaws as Edward Teach (alias Blackbeard), Captain Kidd, Mary Read, Anne Bonny, many others.
Famed for his enduring fictional masterpieces Robinson Crusoe and Moll Flanders, Daniel Defoe also possessed considerable expertise in maritime affairs. As a commission merchant, importer, shipowner, and an active journalist who reported "ship news" and interviewed surviving pirates, Defoe achieved a high degree of authority on the subject of buccaneers. His knowledge was such that his book, A General History of the Pyrates, remains the major source of information about piracy in the first quarter of the 18th century.
Reprinted here in its entirety, this fascinating history abounds in tales of flamboyant outlaws and their bloody deeds: Captain Edward Teach, alias Blackbeard; Captain William Kidd, whose trial and execution created a sensation throughout London and the world; Bartholomew Roberts, one of the most successful pirates of the era, whose crews captured an estimated 400 prizes in three years; Mary Read and Anne Bonny, who disguised themselves as men to sail under the Jolly Roger with the ill-fated Captain John Rackham; and many more.
An engrossing blend of fact and fiction -- incorporating Defoe's celebrated flair for journalistic detail -- these lively tales of seafaring rogues and rascals and their ill-gotten gains will captivate armchair sailors, maritime enthusiasts and any lover of adventure on the high seas. This unique work has been edited by noted scholar Manuel Schonhorn, who has also supplied a provocative Postscript to the Dover Edition offering insights into the vast popularity of this subject in today's theater, movies, TV specials, magazine articles, lavish books, and maritime exhibitions. In an added "Note on the Author and the Text," Professor Schonhorn also examines the arguments for and against Defoe's very authorship of this important book.
Considered the major source of information about piracy in the early 18th century, this fascinating history by the author of Robinson Crusoe profiles the deeds of Edward (Blackbeard) Teach, Captain Kidd, Anne Bonny, others.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 707-708) and indexes.
Table of Contents
A Note on the Text
I. A Description of a Ship with all her Tackling
2. Definitions of Old Sea-Craft
Volume I A General History of the Pyrates
The Contents of Volumes I and II
Chap. I Of Captain Avery and his Crew
II Of Captain Martel and his Crew
III "Of Captain Teach, alias Black-beard"
IV Of Major Stede Bonnet and his Crew
V Of Captain Edward England and his Crew
VI Of Captain Charles Vane and his Crew
VII Of Captain John Rackam and his Crew
The Life of Mary Read
The Life of Anne Bonny
VIII Of Captain Howel Davis and his Crew
"A Description of the Islands of St. Thome, Del Principe, and Annobono"
IX "Of Captain Bartho, Roberts and his Crew"
"A Description of Brazil, &c."
The Tryals of the Pyrates
X Of Captain Thomas Anstis and his Crew
XI Of Captain Worley and his Crew
XII Of Captain George Lowther and his Crew
XIII Of Captain Edward Low and his Crew
XIV Of Captain John Evans and his Crew
XV Of Captain John Phillips and his Crew
XVI Of Captain Francis Spriggs and his Crew
XVII Of Captain John Smith and his Crew
A Relation of five Men setting up for a Company of Pyrates
"An Account of the Pyracies and Murders committed by Philip Roche, &c."
"An Abstract of the Civil Law and Statute now in Force, in Relation to Pyracy"
Chap. I Of Captain Mission
II Of Captain Tew and his Crew
III Of Captain William Kid
IV Of Captain John Bowen
V Of Captain Halsey and his Crew
VI Of Captain Thomas White and his Crew
VII Of Captain Thomas Howard and his Crew
VIII Of Captain David Williams and his Crew
IX Of Captain Samuel Burgess and his Crew
X Of Captain Nathaniel North and his Crew
XI A Description of Magadoxa
XII Of Captain Condent and his Crew
XIII Of Captain Bellamy and his Crew
XIV Of Captain Lewis and his Crew
XV Of Captain Cornelius and his Crew
XVI Of Captain William Fly and his Crew
XVII Appendix to the First Volume
XVIII The Tryal of the Pyrates at Providence
Commentary and Notes
Postscript to the Dover Edition