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Were there really women pirates?
Believe it or not, this is one of the first questions S.R. Staley fielded after he wrote the first draft of The Pirate of Panther Bay.
Of course, the typical pirate is male. In fact, of the 5,000 or 6,000 pirates marauding the Caribbean Sea in the 18th century, just a handful were women.
Nevertheless, women made their mark. Some, such as Cheng I Sao in the South China Sea, controlled hundreds of ships and tens of thousands of pirates. Others, such as Mary Read and Anne Bonny, were notable simply for being women in a man’s world.
Click on the names below to read more about some of our favorite female pirates:
Some of the best references on women pirates we found are: