The history of pirate myth is rich in action, at sea and ashore. However, the truth is far more interesting. In The Golden Age of Piracy, expert pirate historian Benerson Little debunks more than a dozen pirate myths that derive from this erafrom the flying of the Jolly Roger to the burying of treasure, from walking the plank to the staging of epic sea battlesand shows that the truth is far more fascinating and disturbing than the romanticized legends.
Among Little’s revelations are that pirates of the Golden Age never made their captives walk the plank and that they, instead, were subject to horrendous torture, such as being burned or hung by their arms. Likewise, epic sea battles involving pirates were fairly rare because most prey surrendered immediately.
The stories are real and are drawn heavily from primary sources. Complementing them are colorful images of flags, ships, and buccaneers based on eyewitness accounts.
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About the Author
Table of Contents
Preface Imagining Pirates and Piracy v
Prologue The Image of the Pirate ix
Part I "For Somebody Muse Be Beaten"-Pirate Violence 1
Chapter 1 Death's Head and Marrow Bones 3
Chapter 2 "False Optics" and Blackboard the Pirate 31
Chapter 3 Pirate Ships and Pirate Prey 51
Chapter 4 Not by Walking the Plank 69
Chapter 5 "False Optics" and the Great Pirate Roberts 87
Chapter 6 Epic Combat at Sea 101
Part II "The Custom of the Coast"-Pirate Society 129
Chapter 7 Thief or Rebel? 131
Chapter 8 Dueling and Democracy 151
Chapter 9 Titillation with a Cutlass 175
Chapter 10 Not Every Man Created Equal 193
Chapter 11 Pirate Heaven 213
Chapter 12 Buried Treasure, Sunken Treasure 235
About the Author 295