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Publisher's Summary

Examines the lives, legends and legacies of 11 of history's most famous pirates, including Blackbeard, Francis Drake, Captain Kidd, Captain Morgan, Grace O'Malley, Black Bart, Calico Jack, Anne Bonny, Mary Read, Henry Every and Howell Davis.
Explains how the myths and legends of pirates, like Blackbeard, created the instantly recognizable pirate stereotypes of today.
Includes contemporary accounts of the pirates written by Captain Charles Johnson.
The people who have lived outside the boundaries of normal societies and refused to play by the rules have long fascinated the world, and nowhere is this more evident than the continuing interest in the pirates of centuries past. As the subjects of books, movies, and even theme park rides, people continue to let their imaginations go when it comes to pirates, with buried treasure, parrots, and walking the plank all ingrained in pop culture's perception of them.
While there is no question that the myths and legends surrounding history's most famous pirates are colorful, in some instances their actual lives made for even better stories. Before the golden age of piracy, men and women like Sir Francis Drake and Grace O'Malley straddled the line between pirate and privateer, with Drake being knighted for fighting the Spanish and O'Malley representing many things to the Irish, including queen, legend, pirate, and folk hero.
While Captain Morgan's ruthless piracy has actually been forgotten due to his association with the spiced rum company using his name, Captain William Kidd insisted he wasn't a pirate at all, and his entire reputation is based on the most notorious trial in the history of piracy.
"The golden age of piracy" generally refers to the era when history's most famous pirates roamed the seas of the West Indies from 1670-1720.
©2012 Charles River Editors (P)2015 Charles River Editors
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Sean on 07-23-15

Not an original work

The book is a collection of stories about various pirates extensively padded with long quotes from letters, trial transcripts and old books. Notice that there is no particular author--only the "Charles River Editors".

There are actually several chapters that are simply readings of 17th century travel diaries of the pirates or their crew.

The reader insists on performing the book instead of reading it. I hate this style of audio book. For women you get a quiet falsetto with an Irish or English accent, for men you get a whiny tenor or a loud baritone depending on whether it's a scholar or pirate being quoted. Some of these accents are impossible to determine where they are supposed to represent. This made it impossible to listen at 1.5 or 2x speed which I find helpful with casual books like this.

Lastly, there is no attempt to provide insight or context for their actions. It reads like a Wikipedia entry despite the fact that there is tremendous moral ambiguity surrounding these peoples' actions.

There is essentially no original content here and the extensive inclusion of old, out of copyright material gives it the feel of a thrown together work.

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3 of 4 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Emory on 03-19-18

Average non specific

Like most pirate books the information is very general non specific, the same old often repeted stuff. However there was some new information I haven't heard before on Calico Jack and Ann Bonnie, and Mary Read.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Lior Abel on 09-29-16

A great book ruined by a bad narrator. Shame.

And his accents are appalling!
Imagine, if you can, Omar Sharif as an Irishman.
I could not force myself to even finish the book.

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1 out of 5 stars
By Charles Palmer on 12-30-15

Terrible narrator, poor inaccurate history

The narrator is awful, his attempt at Irish, English and Scots accents is ridiculous. He sounds more like a Bangladeshi than an Irish man.

The author doesn't know his History, there is no such place as the 'English Isles'. Also the Tudors were never kings of Scotland and never ruled there so how they were able to introduce laws into Scotland that 'alienated the native clansmen' is a fact, obviously only known by the author whose grasp of history is almost as inept as his scholarship! Utter utter drivel, don't bother!

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Theo on 02-16-18

really bad accent voices.

a better read is. the general history of pyrates by daniel defoe written in 1700-1800

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4 out of 5 stars
By Bradley on 12-01-15

Great story

Very interesting story of the history of pirates but the narrator was a bit flat.

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