OVERRIDE

The Pirate Wars

Peter Earle

Thomas Dunne Books

Investigating the fascination pirates hold over the popular imagination, Peter Earle takes the fable of ocean-going Robin Hoods sailing under the "banner of King Death" and contrasts it with the murderous reality of robbery, torture and death and the freedom of a short, violent life on the high seas. The book charts 250 years of piracy, from Cornwall to the Caribbean, from the 16th century to the hanging of the last pirate captain in Boston in 1835. Along the way, we meet characters like Captain Thomas Cocklyn, chosen as commander of his ship "on account of his brutality and ignorance," and Edward Teach, the notorious "Blackbeard," who felt of his crew "that if he did not now and then kill one of them they would forget who he was." Using material from British Admiralty records, this is an account of the Golden Age of pirates and of the men of the legitimate navies of the world charged with the task of finally bringing these cutthroats to justice.

REVIEWS

Praise for The Pirate Wars

"Wonderfully detailed."
---San Antonio Express-News
 
"A well-researched effort on an extensive subject, this is highly recommended."
---Library Journal
 
"Fascinating...His scholarship is solid, and his telling of this complex story is lucid and well paced."
---The Sunday Telegraph (UK)
 
"A thoroughly entertaining read that dispels a number of myths and spins many a good yarn."
---Daily Mail (UK)
 
"Earle is both swashbuckling and serious in this marvelous survey of piracy over 230 years."
---The Oxford Times (UK)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Peter Earle

  • Peter Earle formerly taught at the London School of Economics and is now Emeritus Reader in Economic History at the University of London. He is the author of over a dozen books on English social and maritime history, including two on different aspects of piracy, Corsairs of Malta and Barbary and The Sack of Panama.
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    The Pirate Wars

    Peter Earle

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    Thomas Dunne Books

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