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Pirate Book

The History of Pirates
by Angus Konstam

The History of Pirates is a well organized primer on pirates from ancient times to the present day.

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What Readers
are Saying

“S.R. Staley transports you back to a time when the flapping of canvas, the roar of ships' cannons, and the flash of cutlasses are seen through the smell of gunpowder and smoke. The Pirate of Panther Bay, the young Isabella, prowls the seas. She is dogged by a Spanish man-o-war commanded by a dashing young Spaniard who also commands her heart. A great adventure romance!”
-- Robert, Chapel Hill, NC

Who Were Pirates?

Pirates have been part of world history since before the written word. A pirate is little more a high-seas robber despite the romance connected to them through stories like Treasure Island and whimsical movies.

In reality pirates were more than simply robbers. They were cut throat. They murdered, plundered and tortured their victims, whether they were merchantmen plying the seas or unfortunate fishing villages along the South China Sea.

We don’t know how many pirates existed at any given time, but they range from 50,000 or more in the South China Sea under the leadership of Chinese pirate Cheng I at the turn of the 19th century to 5,000 or 6,000 marauding the Caribbean Sea in the 18th century without any central direction or coordination.

Pirates aren’t just folklore. Most of the legends and myths are grounded in real people, although the real events may have been exaggerated by storytelling.

Click on the names below to read more about some of our favorite pirates:



First things first...were there really women pirates?

Some of the best references on pirates we found are: