The Complete History
When we think of pirates we conjure up images of Blackbeard and Captain Kidd, or even fictional pirates such as Long John Silver, Captain Hook and Captain Jack Sparrow. These historical characters all hailed from one period. Known as "The Golden Age of Piracy", this period only lasted around a quarter of a century - from around 1700 until 1725. However, piracy has been around a lot longer than that. In fact ever since people started venturing onto the sea, others were waiting to waylay them.
The term 'pirate' instantly conjures up a picture of a figure in a battered coat and tricorne hat, festooned with weaponry and looking as if he could fillet you with his cutlass as soon as look at you. Pirates are used to sell everything from rum to cars, from homes to insurance. Like the pirate himself, the skull and crossbones symbol used on pirate flags has become an instantly recognizable and identifiable image - a symbol of piracy and of rebellion against authority.
Pirate expert Angus Konstam sails through the brutal history of piracy, from the pirates who plagued the Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans to the Viking raids on northern Europe through the golden age of piracy and on to the era of privateers who flourished during a period of constant warring on the European continent. He then examines the West's initial encounters with Eastern pirates off the Chinese coast whose confederations had sprung up in the 17th century and whose actions were severely hampering the West by the 19th century. Finally Konstam examines the phenomenon of the modern pirate, preying on modern super tankers. The reality of piracy is that it is a vicious, often deadly business. By separating the realities of piracy from the Hollywood-inspired fiction, and by tracing the development of piracy through the centuries, this book gives a realistic vision of what piracy actually involves.
Separating myth from legend and fact from fiction, this book takes you into the very depths of the pirate's dark world through the ages to provide the reader with a complete account of the blood-soaked history of piracy.
The 360 page, 120,000 word book is the ultimate pirate history book - the one which tells the full story. The swashbuckling text is augmented by over 100 illustrations - most in color, a series of eight specially commissioned maps, plus a glossary of sea terms, notes on sources and a bibliography.