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A General History of the Pyrates - Daniel Defoe, Manuel Schonhorn

This book, originally published in 1724, recounts the misadventures of several famous pirates including Blackbeard, Ann Bonnet, and Black Bart. Actually, Blackbeard, despite his fearsome reputation, came across as less bloodthirsty than for example Captain Spriggs or Captain Roche.

 

There is some debate as to who wrote the book. Some cite Daniel Defoe as the possible author. I’ll stick the guy named on the title page. :)

 

Many of the stories are fascinating. The book contains incredible detail, including lists of ships and their captains, and transcripts of trial testimony and judgments. At times the book became so dense with detail, I struggled to follow it in places and had to resort to Wikipedia to fill in the gaps in my understanding. Also, the narrative on occasion pauses to give a local geography lesson for a couple of pages. However, overall, it is well worth the effort to read it and is a must for anyone with even a passing interest in pirate lore.