Pirate Books - The Guide for Popular Pirate Books Reading
Essential Pirate Reading List
During the Golden Age of Piracy between 16th and early 18th century, people
started learning of pirate exploits not only via news reports that were
passed through official news channels but also via literary works written
by naval captains who had close encounters with pirates and writers who
claimed to have a wealth of experience on this matter. Books that are
presented here are focused on real historical records, and many of them
served as a foundation on which many other future literary and multimedia
works were built, famous pirate myths were born and more.
The most famous pirate book of all time is without any doubt “A General
History of the Pyrates”, written by acclaimed English novelist Daniel Defoe
(writer of Robinson Crusoe) just years after the deaths of many feared
pirates such as Blackbeard and Calico Jack. From that moment, many other
authors tried to record the events and lives of pirates who roamed
Atlantic, Indian and China Seas during the Golden Age of Piracy.
A General History of the Pyrates
The book that created fascination with pirate lifestyle. It provides
incredibly in-depth details about the life of pirates on Caribbean seas
during late 17th and early 18th century, and it achieves this feat because
it was written in the age pirates operated on the Caribbean!
This book has withstood the test of time by becoming one of the
cornerstones that defined our modern look at pirates, serving not only as a
foundation on which many other authors built their careers, but also
providing us with incredibly detailed look at the simple facts of the life
during the years when pirates ruled the seas. The modern tropes of pirates
without legs, eyes, buried treasures, and elaborate “Jolly Rodger” flags.
What has not withstood the test of time is the literary style and the use
of language that is present in this book. Written before the creation of
United States of America, this book is today very hard to read since it
utilizes an authentic old version of English, including words that are not
in use today and complicated sentence structures.
Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates
Modern literature and visual media have transformed the history of pirates
into romanticized adventures, but those who want to find out what was life
on pirate seas really like should look no further from this book. Written
by the David Cordingly, former head of exhibitions at England's National
Maritime Museum, this book represents a definitive source for learning
about true historical events regarding pirates, men who hunted them and
gold they managed to plunder.
In addition to the breakdown of the many historical records that were
sourced from original documents, “Under the Black Flag” also closely
examines many of the modern pirate myths and explains which were true (for
example buried treasures) and which are pure fiction (like “walking the
While the “A General History of the Pyrates” is still regarded as a
groundbreaking volume that introduced modern history with in-depth
descriptions of pirate life, Cordingly’s book is much better suited for
modern readers because of its streamlined form, pictures, maps and data
collected from numerous historical documents.
The Republic of Pirates: Being the True and Surprising Story of the Caribbean Pirates and the Man Who Brought Them Down
In 2007, author Colin Woodard has compiled a novel that covers one of the
most fascinating periods in the entire Golden Age of Piracy – a time when
many famous pirate captains such as "Black Sam" Bellamy and Edward
"Blackbeard" Teach joined forces and formed the infamous “Flying Gang”
pirate group that terrorized the Caribbean and Atlantic for several years.
In “The Republic of Pirates” you will find about not only about the origins
and the exploits of this infamous group, but also their focus on
establishing their pirate haven, a form of a so-called pirate republic
where outcasts of all kinds could find freedom from the oppression of
Data needed to create this incredibly in-depth look at the past was sourced
from hundreds of historical documents, testimonies, court files, and
scribes that writer has managed to collect over the years. The result is a
historical book that not only provides us a window to the brief period when
notorious pirates tried to become an independent force but also one of the
rare books where pirates were humanized and showcased as extraordinary
people who lived incredible lives.
The Pirate Hunter: The True Story of Captain Kidd
Today, details of lives of many pirate captains are unknown to the general
population, and many know them only by their names. However, real history
can hide the incredible amount of secrets. The book “The Pirate Hunter: The
True Story of Captain Kidd” shines the light on the life of Captain Kidd,
who is best known today as one of the pirates during the height of the
Golden Age of Piracy, but in reality, he was everything but that. He was a
highly capable and talented naval captain from New York who was tasked to
operate on high seas as a pirate hunter!
Sourced from multitude of historical documents, testimonial, court files
and other sources, writer Richard Zacks manages to produce a very
interesting novel that effortlessly transport the reader into the late 17th
century, with in-depth description of sea lifestyle, East India Company
captains, pirates and most importantly, the state of the world that enabled
pirates to become such a dominant force on the dangerous seas.
If you are interested to learn more about pirate hunters who were on the
trail on some of the most dangerous pirate captains of all time, this book
should be your first choice.
The Whydah: A Pirate Ship Feared, Wrecked, and Found
The modern society and pop culture have almost managed to completely
transform pirates into creatures of myths, legends, and high adventures,
but the truth about their real lives, motivations and exploits can today be
found only in few surviving documents and the only authentic pirate wreck
that was discovered under the waves of Caribbean. The Whydah was a pirate
ship commanded by the fearless and incredibly greedy pirate Black Sam
Bellamy, so-called Prince of Pirates and Robin Hood of the Seas, who
terrorized Atlantic in 1716 and 1717.
“The Whydah: A Pirate Ship Feared, Wrecked, and Found” offers incredible
insight into the life and adventures of Bellamy and his crew, who managed
in in short time to amass great treasure. The discovery of his sunk ship in
1984 provided author Martin W. Sandler ample material to describe the life
on pirate seas, dispel many myths, a showcase which pirate stereotypes, and
explain to readers the harsh realities of life in early 18th century and
how other parts of society interacted and thought about pirates.
Pirate Hunter of the Caribbean: The Adventurous Life of Captain Woodes Rogers
Another solid choice for discovering intricacies of life on the sea during
the Golden Age of Piracy. David Cordingly already made our list of best
non-fiction pirate books with “Under the Black Flag”, but here he returns
with a new book that is focused more on the harsh lives of people who were
tasked to hunt pirates across Caribbean and Atlantic. More precisely, this
book manages to describe in great detail exploits of Captain Woodes Rogers,
a professional pirate hunter, and a man who managed to rescue the marooned
Alexander Selkirk whose harsh life story will provide a material that
Daniel Dafoe will adapt in his famous “Robinson Crusoe” book.
“Pirate Hunter of the Caribbean” book also strays into many other subjects
that are closely connected to the pirate life, such as general history of
that time period, political and economic environments, factors that
contributed to the rise of piracy, current laws and the general feeling of
how much danger (both from nature and pirates) accompanied any crossing of
Atlantic during those years.