Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates

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“This is the most authoritative and highly literate account of these pernicious people that I have ever read.”—Patrick O'Brian

“[A] wonderfully entertaining history of pirates and piracy . . . a rip-roaring read . . . fascinating and unexpected.”—Men's Journal

This rollicking account of the golden age of piracy is packed with vivid history and high seas adventure. David Cordingly, an acclaimed expert on pirates, reveals the spellbinding truth behind the legends of Blackbeard, Captain Kidd, Sir Francis Drake, the fierce female brigands Mary Read and Anne Bonny, and others who rode and robbed upon the world's most dangerous waters. Here, in thrilling detail, are the weapons they used, the ships they sailed, and the ways they fought—and were defeated. Under the Black Flag also charts the paths of fictional pirates such as Captain Hook and Long John Silver. The definitive resource on the subject, this book is as captivating as it is supremely entertaining. 

Praise for Under the Black Flag

“[A] lively history . . . If you've ever been seduced by the myth of the cutlass-wielding pirate, consider David Cordingly's Under the Black Flag.”USA Today, “Best Bets”

“Engagingly told . . . a tale of the power of imaginative literature to re-create the past.”Los Angeles Times

“Entirely engaging and informative . . . a witty and spirited book.”The Washington Post Book World

“Plenty of thrills and adventure to satisfy any reader.”The Philadelphia Inquirer
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About the author

David Cordingly was for 12 years on the staff of the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England, where he was curator of paintings and then head of exhibitions. He is a graduate of Oxford and the renowned author of the definitive book on pirates, Under the Black Flag, as well as Seafaring Women and Cochrane: The Real Master and Commander. Cordingly lives with his wife by the sea in Sussex, England.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Random House
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Published on
Feb 6, 2013
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9780307763075
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Maritime History & Piracy
History / Modern / 17th Century
History / Modern / 18th Century
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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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.
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