11 Swashbuckling Pirate History Books
Pirate history is a fascinating topic that has captured the imaginations of people for generations. If you’re interested in learning more about this colorful and often misunderstood subject, then check out these amazingly researched and written pirate history books.
From biographies to historical narratives, these books will give you a well-rounded understanding of piracy and its role in world history. So put on your eye patch and get ready for some swashbuckling adventure!
Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates
If you’re looking for a pirate history book that’s both informative and enjoyable to read, I highly recommend Under the Black Flag by David Cordingly.
Cordingly is a pirate expert and he really brings the Golden Age of Piracy to life in this book. He covers everything from pirate flags and Jolly Rogers to pirate clothing and weapons.
And he doesn’t shy away from the darker side of pirate life, discussing topics like torture, mutiny, and marooning.
Whether you’re a pirate enthusiast or simply curious about this fascinating period of history, I think you’ll find Under the Black Flag to be a thoroughly enjoyable read.
The Republic of Pirates: Being the True and Surprising Story of the Caribbean Pirates and the Man Who Brought Them Down
The Republic of Pirates is one of the most detailed and fascinating pirate history books I have ever read. Colin Woodard does an amazing job of bringing to life the world of the pirate havens in the Caribbean, and the shockingly true story of the democracy they created there.
In a world where European empires dominated the globe and bought and sold people like goods, pirates like Blackbeard, Black Sam, and Charles Vane created a radical society. They chose their leaders by vote, didn’t care what color a person’s skin was, and captured countless slave ships. While pirates weren’t angels, their egalitarian leanings and effective naval strategies had Spain and Britain sweating bullets.
Woodard also tells the story of pirate hunter Jonathan Barnet, and how he finally brought an end to the reign of the pirates. The book comes packed with information, but it is never dry or boring. Woodard’s writing is engaging and fascinating, and I could not put it down.
If you have a fascination with pirate history, or simply want to read a great book, I would highly recommend The Republic of Pirates.
Black Flags, Blue Waters: The Epic History of America’s Most Notorious Pirates
For centuries, pirate stories have captured the imagination of people all over the world. But what is the reality behind these tales of adventure on the high seas?
In his book Black Flags, Blue Waters, Eric Jay Dolin set out to answer this question, providing readers with a detailed and fascinating history of pirate activity in the Americas. Dolin traces the origins of piracy back to the 1500s, when pirates first began to ply their trade in the Caribbean.
He chronicles the rise and fall of pirate kingpins like Blackbeard and Edward Low, and tells the stories of famous pirate ships like the Queen Anne’s Revenge and the Whydah Gally. He also brings to life the enemies that pirates made. From colonial governors, like John Winthrop, to third-party observers like a young Benjamin Franklin.
Throughout, Dolin brings history to life, painting a vivid picture of the golden age of piracy. For anyone interested in pirate history, Black Flags, Blue Waters is essential reading.
The Pirate Queen: Queen Elizabeth I, Her Pirate Adventurers, and the Dawn of Empire
For anyone interested in pirate history, The Pirate Queen by Susan Ronald is a must-read. The book tells the story of Queen Elizabeth I and her pirate adventurers, and how they helped to lay the ground work for the British Empire.
When Elizabeth, later dubbed “the Pirate Queen,” came to power, England wasn’t exactly a world power. Spain and Portugal had divided up the world in 1493 and since made themselves fabulously wealth with empires that spanned from the Americas to Africa and Asia. The English monarch, by comparison, oversaw a small kingdom on the fringes of European society.
This all changed with Elizabeth. Through her cunning use of piracy (or “privateering” as she would have called it), Elizabeth cut into the fabulous wealth of her Iberian rivals. Sending her legally sanctioned pirates after Spanish and Portuguese ships, they looted a fortune for Elizabeth.
To do this, Elizabeth formed an alliance with some of the most famous pirate captains of the time, including Francis Drake and John Hawkins. With their help, she was able to England as a leading maritime power.
The book is full of fascinating details about Elizabeth’s life and times, as well as the lives of her pirate adventurers. It’s a must-read for anyone interested in pirate history or British maritime history.
If a Pirate I Must Be…: The True Story of Black Bart, “King of the Caribbean Pirates”
In If a Pirate I Must Be…: The True Story of Black Bart, “King of the Caribbean Pirates”, Richard Sanders gives readers a detailed and fascinating look at pirate life through the true story of one of the most feared pirates of the age: Black Bart.
Sanders paints a picture of a pirate’s life that is both dangerous and brutal, yet also filled with camaraderie and adventure. Readers will learn about pirate culture and lifestyle, as well as the politics and economics that drove many men to take up piracy in the first place.
In addition, Sanders provides an in-depth look at Black Bart’s personal history, providing insights into what may have motivated him to become one of the most successful pirates of his day.
Whether you’re a fan of pirate history or simply looking for a well-written and engaging book, If a Pirate I Must Be… is definitely worth checking out.
The Buccaneers of America
Many pirate history books have been written over the years, but one of the most influential is The Buccaneers of America by Alexandre Olivier Exquemelin.
First published in 1678, the book chronicles Exquemelin’s time serving under pirate captains in the Caribbean. Originally born in France, historians now believe Exquemelin lived as a pirate for a time. As such, his work includes detailed accounts of pirate raids and life at sea, as well as insights into the phenomenon of piracy itself.
The Buccaneers of America quickly became a bestseller in its time, and its popularity has only grown in the centuries since. Today, it remains an essential read for anyone interested in pirate history.
Enemy of All Mankind: A True Story of Piracy, Power, and History’s First Global Manhunt
If you’re interested in pirate history, then you’ll want to check out Enemy of All Mankind: A True Story of Piracy, Power, and History’s First Global Manhunt by Steven Johnson.
The book tells the story of Henry Every, a pirate who was active in the late seventeenth-century. Every was notable for his audacious pirate raids, including one in which he captured an Indian trade ship carrying a large quantity of gold and jewels.
In one fell swoop, this made him one of the most successful pirates of his time, and also one of the most wanted men in the world. But, Johnson argues, the consequences didn’t end there.
In the manhunt that followed Every’s daring raid, the Britain laid the ground work for the pre-eminence of the East India Company and their own global empire. Because of one crew of pirates, history changed forever.
Villains of All Nations: Atlantic Pirates in the Golden Age
Marcus Rediker’s Villains of All Nations is one of the most comprehensive and well-researched pirate history books out there.
Covering the “Golden Age” of piracy in the Atlantic Ocean from the 1650s to the 1730s, Rediker draws on a wealth of primary sources to tell the stories of these notorious seafarers.
He paints a vivid picture of their lives at sea, describing everything from their everyday routines to their bloody battles with enemy ships. He also sheds light on the social and economic conditions that drove many men to turn to a life of piracy.
In doing so, he offers readers a unique insights into one of the most fascinating periods in maritime history. Whether you’re a pirate enthusiast or simply looking for a well-written historical narrative, Villains of All Nations is definitely worth checking out.
The Secret Voyage of Sir Francis Drake: 1577-1580
In 1577, Sir Francis Drake set out on a voyage that would take him around the world. Chasing pirate gold and glory, Drake and his crew sailed from England to the coast of Africa, then crossed the Atlantic and down to South America.
They then turned north, raiding Spanish settlements along the way before finally circumnavigating the globe and returning to England in 1580. Along the way, Drake inflicted serious damage on Spanish shipping and caused immense frustration for the Spanish crown. His voyage was a significant achievement, both for himself and for England.
And, according to Bawlf, Drake even made it as far north as Alaska – becoming the first European to reach its snowy banks.
Samuel Bawlf’s The Secret Voyage of Sir Francis Drake: 1577-1580 is a fascinating account of this groundbreaking journey. Bawlf brings Drake’s story to life, providing readers with a detailed account of the perils and challenges faced by Drake and his crew. The Secret Voyage is an essential read for anyone interested in pirate history or the Age of Exploration.
A General History of the Pyrates
A General History of the Pyrates is one of the earliest, yet most comprehensive pirate history books ever written. The book was first published in 1724, and pirate enthusiasts have been devouring its pages ever since.
The book covers everything from the early days of piracy in the Caribbean to the Golden Age of Piracy and beyond. In addition to providing a wealth of information about pirate shipwrecks and famous piratical figures, the book also includes a number of first-hand accounts from pirates and their victims. It even seems to be the source of the myth that pirates buried their treasure!
These firsthand accounts give readers a unique insight into the lives of the men who turned pirate. Whether you’re a pirate enthusiast or just curious about this colorful period of history, A General History of the Pyrates is a fascinating read.
The Pirate Hunter: The True Story of Captain Kidd
Captain Kidd was one of the most notorious pirates of his day, a swashbuckling figure who terrorized the seas in the early 1700s. But despite his notoriety, we know very little about Kidd’s life and career.
In The Pirate Hunter, Richard Zacks sets out to rectify that, telling the true story of the man behind the legend.
Zacks draws on a wealth of primary sources to paint a detailed picture of Kidd’s life, from his humble beginnings as a pirate hunter to his final days as a pirate himself.
Along the way, we meet some of the colorful characters who crossed Kidd’s path, including Blackbeard and William III. And we learn about the politics and economics that drove piracy in those days.
The Pirate Hunter is a thoroughly researched and well-written book that brings to life one of history’s most fascinating figures. If you love pirate history, this is definitely a book you should check out.