The Penguin Book of Pirates

The Penguin Book of Pirates

The Penguin Book of Pirates

The Penguin Book of Pirates


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Real-life accounts of the world’s most notorious pirates—both men and women, from the Golden Age of Piracy and beyond—compiled by the New York Times bestselling author of A True Account: Hannah Masury’s Sojourn Amongst the Pyrates, Written by Herself

A Penguin Classic

Spanning three centuries and eight thousand nautical miles, and compiled by a direct descendant of a sailor who waged war with pirates in the early nineteenth century, The Penguin Book of Pirates takes us behind the eye patches, the peg legs, and the skull and crossbones of the Jolly Roger and into the no-man’s-land of piracy that is rife with paradoxes and plot twists. Here, in a fascinating array of accounts that include trial transcripts, journalism, ship logs, and more, are the grit and patois of real maritime marauders like the infamous Blackbeard; the pirates who inspired Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean, Stede Bonnet in Max’s Our Flag Means Death, and the Dread Pirate Roberts in The Princess Bride; the astoundingly egalitarian multi-ethnic and multilingual crews that became enmeshed in historical horrors like the slave trade; and lesser-known but no less formidable women pirates, many of whom disguised themselves as men. By turns brutal, harrowing, and inspiring, these accounts of the “radically free” sailors who were citizens more of the oceangoing world than of any nation on land remind us of the glories and dangers of the open seas and the seductive appeal of communities forged in resistance.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143137511
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/30/2024
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 745,270
Product dimensions: 5.06(w) x 7.75(h) x 0.66(d)

About the Author

Katherine Howe (editor) is a bestselling historian and novelist and the direct descendant of a nineteenth-century sailor who battled pirates on the high seas as well as three women who were tried for witchcraft in Salem. She is the editor of The Penguin Book of Witches; the author of the novel A True Account: Hannah Masury’s Sojourn Amongst the Pyrates, Written by Herself, the New York Times bestselling novels The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane and The House of Velvet and Glass, and the young adult novels Conversion and The Appearance of Annie van Sinderen; and the coauthor with Anderson Cooper of the New York Times bestsellers Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty and Astor: The Rise and Fall of an American Fortune. Born and raised in Houston, she has taught at Boston University and Cornell, and lives with her family in New England. She is an amateur sailor.


Marblehead, MA

Place of Birth:

Houston, TX


B.A., Columbia University, 1999; M.A., Boston University, 2006

Read an Excerpt

The Seventeenth Century and Before

  • Francis Drake 
  • Grace O’Malley 
  • Jack Ward 
  • Samuel Palache 
  • William Jackson 
  • Thomas Veal 
  • Henry Morgan 
  • Henry Mainwaring 
  • Alexander Exquemelin 
  • Henry Avery 
  • William Kidd 
  • Thomas Tew 

The Golden Age
  • The proclamation pardoning pirates 
  • Howell Davis 
  • Christopher Condent 
  • Edward “Ned” Low 
  • Edward “Blackbeard” Teach 
  • Bartholomew “Black Bart” Roberts 
  • Samuel “Black Sam” Bellamy 
  • William Snelgrave 
  • John Upton 
  • Richard Luntly 
  • Anne Bonny and Mary Reade 
  • John Philips 
  • Philip Ashton 
  • William Fly 
  • Fanny Campbell 
  • Jose Gasper 

The Nineteenth Century
  • First Barbary War 
  • Zheng Yi Sao 
  • Jean Laffite 
  • Schooner Jane
  • The Dover
  • The Porpoise 
  • The Alligator 
  • The Belvidere 
  • The Mary 
  • The New Priscilla 
  • The Friendship 
  • The Mexican 
  • La Amistad 

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