Piracy: The Complete History

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Osprey Publishing, Aug 19, 2008 - History - 336 pages
5 Reviews
"Also you will find here a more detailed story about some of the most famous pirates in history. Angus Konstam is the pirate expert. He discusses the 'Golden Age of Piracy' & such fascinating characters as Captain Kidd & Blackbeard. He separates the Hollywood-inspired fiction with the realities of piracy."- Neopoprealsim Journal (July 2008)

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.

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.

The book includes approximately 100 color and black & white images, eight maps, a glossary of sea terms, notes on sources and a bibliography.

Chapter 1: Piracy in the Ancient World; Chapter 2: Medieval Pirates;
Chapter 3: The Sea Dogs of the Renaissance; Chapter 4: Mediterranean Corsairs;
Chapter 5: The Buccaneers of the Caribbean; Chapter 6: The Golden Age of Piracy;
Chapter 7: The Pirate Round; Chapter 8: The Last of the Pirates; Chapter 9 The Chinese Pirates; Chapter 10: Modern Pirates; Chapter 11: Pirates in Fiction; Conclusion

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Review: Piracy: The Complete History

User Review  - Goodreads

This book, along with Johns' The Nature of the Book: Print and Knowledge in the Making are indispensable reading for anyone trying to understand what is now happening in the book world. The transition ... Read full review

Review: Piracy: The Complete History

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A fun look at some pirate arrrrchives, yea, I read the whole thing just so I could write that review Read full review


Pirates of the Ancient World
Medieval Pirates
The Sea Dogs of the Renaissance
Mediterranean Corsairs
The Buccaneers
The Golden Age of Piracy
The Pirate Round
The Last of the Pirates
The Chinese Pirates
Modern Piracy
Pirates in Fiction
The Real Pirates of the Caribbean
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About the author (2008)

Angus Konstam is a prolific author, with over 50 historical titles in print. Over 30 of these have been for Osprey. His piratical titles include The History of Pirates (Lyons Press, New York, 1999), Pirates! and Pirates, 1680-1730 (both Osprey Publishing, Oxford, 2000) and The Pirate Ship (Osprey Publishing, Oxford, 2003). Other publications include History of Shipwrecks, A Historical Atlas of Exploration, and The Spanish Galleon. He studied history and archaeology at the Scottish Universities of Aberdeen and St. Andrews, and is also a former naval officer, an underwater archaeologist and a museum curator. He has advised the archaeologists who excavated Blackbeard's Queen Anne's Revenge, and has made several TV appearances as a piratical "talking head" for the History Channel. His latest work is Blackbeard: America's Most Notorious Pirate (Wiley, New York, 2006), which is publishing in early June. The author lives in Edinburgh, UK.

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