Pirates in History
This month's edition of History Bits brings a selection of books about a subject that tends to fascinate folks of all ages: Pirates. So, without further ado, this month's book picks.
Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates by David Cordingly
According to the Amazon.com description, the author is the former head of exhibitions of England's National Maritime Museum and has gone through many original documents and records to provide a well-rounded account of the "Golden Age" of piracy. The book is said to explode many accepted myths and that the truth that replaces the myths is many times more bloody. The book contains maps and 16 pages of photos.
Pirates: by John Matthews
The book is geared toward yo
unger (6+ years old) readers and offers tales of Blackbeard and Captain Kidd, walking the plank and buried treasure, as well as about life aboard ship from the code of conduct to punishments meted out for broken rules. Some of the memorabilia offered with the book includes a booklet of pirate slang, an advertisement recruiting pirates, a treasure map, sample playing cards, and different flaps and foldouts (including one that features pirate weapons).
The Pirate Primer: Mastering the Language of Swashbucklers and Rogues by George Choundas
The book's description touts this volume as a "comprehensive course" in vocabulary, pronounciation, grammar and syntax. It also
contains approximately 300 years worth of terms and usages that have either been uttered by - or been attributed to - pirates in film and television, literature, and history. There is said to be about 100 pages con
taining various threats, curses, oaths, insults and epithets as well as 31 types of pirate drink; 60 different terms for "woman", 67 varieties of torture and punishment as well as 44 distinct definitions of "aargh". The Primer entries are accompanied by excerpts to give the reader a feel for the word's proper context and linguistic concepts are introduced by a related anecdote or narrative account.
Real Pirates of the Caribbean: Blackbeard, Sir Francis Drake, Captain Morgan, Black Bart, Calico Jack, Anne Bonny, Mary Read, and Henry Every Charles River Editors
Takes a look into how some of the truth behind the fiction is ofttimes more colorful than the myth. The tome takes a look at the lives, legends and legacies of such figures as Sir Francis Drake (who straddled the line between pirate and privateer and who was knighted for fighting the Spanish), Captain Morgan (one of history's best documented pirates, even if his ruthless piracy has been somewhat overlooked due to his name being associated with the rum company using his name), Henry Every (known in his day as "King of the Pirates" and popularized the skull and crossbones logo associated with pirates today), and Captain Edward "Blackbeard" Teach (primary influence on pop culture's perception of pirates, albeit how he is remembered has a larger basis in myth than reality).
Real Pirates of the Caribbean
examines their lives, legends and legacies, explains how certain myths and legends created the stereotypes we know of today, includes contemporary accounts of pirates that were written by Captain Charles Johnson and includes pictures that depict the pirates as well as people, places and events that were important in their lives.
Columnist Lilyraines: Lilyraines has worked as a freelance editor, proofreader, and ghost writer. In a past incarnation, she worked as a technical secretary for an engineering firm after receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies with a Political Science minor. Both experiences have come in handy for some of the proofreading she has done. And, of course, she is working on writing something that is currently in bits and pieces as it comes to mind.
When not working or reviewing, she can usually be found knitting, cross-stitching, cooking, avoiding housework as much as possible and in a couple places online. She usually lurks at the following places: http://www.facebook.com/gabbylily.raines