Scourge of the Seas: Buccaneers, Pirates and Privateers

Overview

In their heyday, the sight of a pirate ship on the horizon would strike terror into the hearts of their intended victims. The colorful yet fearsome reputation of the pirate still resonates today and the sight of the skull and crossbones retains its thrilling power. The lives of the most famous of their brethren have been immortalized, initially in the pamphlets of the time, now in movies and books.

Telling the full story of piracy from the "buccaneering era" of the 17th century ...

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Overview

In their heyday, the sight of a pirate ship on the horizon would strike terror into the hearts of their intended victims. The colorful yet fearsome reputation of the pirate still resonates today and the sight of the skull and crossbones retains its thrilling power. The lives of the most famous of their brethren have been immortalized, initially in the pamphlets of the time, now in movies and books.

Telling the full story of piracy from the "buccaneering era" of the 17th century to the last great piratical wave of the early 19th century, this book explores the generally short and bloody life of the pirate, detailing his ship, weaponry, and codes of behaviour, as well as his most famous exploits. It is the gripping tale of the violent and deadly brigands who roamed the high seas in search of plunder.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Color illustrations, including some of Howard Pyle's paintings, and maps help bring this era of maritime piarcy to life... Scourge of the Seas is a worthy addition to any pirate library. It covers some topics often glossed over in other works and introduces reader to major players in each period." -Cindy Vallar, The Pyrates' Way, a Magazine for Pyrates (November 1, 2007)

"It is superbly illustrated with period artifacts, paintings and illustrations from contemporary as well as historical sources. If you never really thought about what these men were like, this book will provide an excellent reference into the lives and customs of some of the more interesting and blood-thirsty people in the history of the early Americas. A book I found fascinating and I'm sure you will as well." -Scott Van Aken, modelingmadness.com (July 2007)

"...covers not just events and personalities, but is packed with details about ships, weaponry, codes of behavior, and holds plenty of color photos throughout. A top pick for collections seeking more than a casual coverage." -The Bookwatch Midwest Book Review

School Library Journal

Adult/High School
Although Jack Sparrow is not mentioned, teens interested in learning more about the real lives of the men and women who were maritime raiders should find this book most appealing. The introduction describes the differences among pirates (they attacked any ship, regardless of nationality), privateers (persons or vessels under contract to a government), and buccaneers (mainly English and French raiders of the Spanish Main). In the next three sections, Konstam carefully describes each group's culture and traditions: dress; hygiene (they were "clearly exceptionally smelly"); organization; weapons; and tactics in war, battles, and while fighting at sea. Short biographies of famous individuals follow. Some readers may be surprised to learn how important privateers were to the American Revolution. Since the Colonies had fewer than 50 warships, they depended on letters of marque to fight the British. Many well-reproduced prints, diagrams, charts, and maps help make the subject come alive and add to readers' understanding of this swashbuckling time in history.
—Joanne LigamariCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781846032110
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 3/27/2007
  • Series: General Military Series
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 7.93 (w) x 9.78 (h) x 1.08 (d)

Meet the Author

Angus Konstam hails from the Orkney Islands and is the author of over 20 books. Formerly the Curator of Weapons in the Royal Armouries at the Tower of London, he also served as the Chief Curator of the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum in Key West, Florida. Angus is now a full-time author and consultant and lives in Edinburgh. The author lives in Edinburgh, UK.
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Table of Contents


Introduction     6
Buccaneers 1620-1700     14
Pirates 1660-1730     72
Privateers and Pirates 1730-1830     162
Glossary     227
Further Reading     230
Index     233
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 25, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Batten down the mizzenmast!

    This is, easily, the best historical look at pirates I've ever read. It clearly defines the differences between buccaneers, pirates and privateers, gives complete descriptions of lifestyle, backgrounds, ships, sailing methods, weaponry and justice.

    Better yet (being a visual person), it's stocked full of paintings (primarily featuring Howard Pyle and Angus McBride), engravings, diagrams of ships, historical cut-a-ways and antique maps from the time periods being discussed.

    The two appendixes in the back (further reading and the glossary) and positively indispensable for most readers...Many of the books recommended I've read and loved, also.

    Well-researched and well-presented.

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