recommended pirate books?

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recommended pirate books?

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març 28, 2007, 4:39pm

Hi! What books on pirates do you all recommend? My favorites are Captain Charles Johnson A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pyrates and also Their Policies, Discipline and Government, From their first Rise and Settlement in the Island of Providence, in 1717, to the present Year 1724. (ok, the title is much longer but I thought I'd spare you all) and The Princess Bride. And Treasure Island, obviously :-)
But Johnson is my absolute top recommended book (and enough of his pirates are made up that I still consider it fiction)...
I wrote a 20 page paper at Uni on pirate ships as portable democratic institutions, with a great bibliography but wouldn't you just know it. For the first time in years its nowhere to be found :-(

març 28, 2007, 4:47pm

On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers and of course the Princess Bride.

març 28, 2007, 5:16pm

sorry for the crossposting (for those of you on the Elizabethan list) but I'm thinking about buying Sir Francis Drake. The Queen's Pirate by Harry Kelsey ...anybody read it yet? Would you recommend this? It's been on my amazon wishlist for a while and next week is payday :-)

març 28, 2007, 6:04pm

While not strictly a pirate book, I loved An Improper Proposal. And I was a bit ambivalent about Piratica but I loved the title and the cover...
That one probably merits a reread.

Treasure Island is a given. And I've fallen madly in love with Sid Meier's Pirates! computer game. My boyfriend and I play it obsessively with me as navigator, gunner, and dancer; him in charge of steering, selling, and dueling...
My geekdom just exploded. :-)

març 28, 2007, 6:47pm

Pirates! by Celia Rees is so good. It is YA but a fun read.

març 28, 2007, 6:56pm

For non-fiction, I rather enjoyed Under the Black Flag: the Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates by David Cordingly.

For fiction, Treasure Island and Peter Pan are kind of the classics... I also like The Angel's Command (sequel to Castaways of the Flying Dutchman), and supposedly the third Bloody Jack book is about pirates proper (Bloody Jack is mostly about hunting pirates, so the pirates are only at the end).

març 28, 2007, 6:59pm

Beat me to it on the Cordingly. It's really good, and doesn't sugar-coat.

If you're young at heart try Pirate Girl! by Cornelia Funke. I loved it!

març 28, 2007, 7:00pm

Let's not forget Piratitude by the Talk Like a Pirate Day guys. It's silly, but fun.

març 28, 2007, 7:34pm

pussy king of the pirates by kathy acker is a disorientating trip through a re writing of treasure island - love it!

març 28, 2007, 9:53pm

Yeah, the third Bloody Jack is about pirates. She even ends up something of a pirate herself. That one was probably my favorite once the whole bizarre charade near the beginning was done (don't want to spoil anything).

març 28, 2007, 10:26pm

I've loved Sid Meier's Pirates! game ever since it was introduced back in the early 1990's or so. I was SO excited when they re-did it a couple of years ago. I got it right after my son was born and I spent many hours playing between feedings while on maternity leave! The new version does a wonderful job of enhancing the original game, while preserving all the things about it that made it so fun in the first place. I don't get to play it as often nowadays, but I still love it. It's nice to know that someone else shares my fondness for it!

març 30, 2007, 5:26pm

Speaking of pirate-related video games, someone in the LT group "Romance-from historical to contemporary" mentioned this book today:

Blow Me Down by Katie MacAlister

Its a romance novel about a modern-day single mom who somehow gets trapped inside her kid's piratey virtual reality game and hooks up with another person who's also stuck in the game: a pirate. Sounds pretty cute.

març 30, 2007, 10:38pm

Roger the Jolly Pirate by Brett Helquist is a great picture book for children.

Editat: abr. 12, 2007, 6:16pm

I've just read Cup of Gold by John Steinbeck about Henry Morgan. Its a fictional story based on what is known about his life.
It was really good to start with, but then it seemed to skip the swashbuckling interesting bit!

abr. 12, 2007, 6:28pm

if you want humourous pirate fun, with the occasional anachronism, you should try
The Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists
The Pirates! in an Adventure with Whaling
by Gideon Defoe

Both thoroughly good fun.

abr. 12, 2007, 6:37pm

Silly me, I forgot about one of my top ten favourite books Frenchman's Creek by Daphne Du Maurier
Its got it all, romance, pirates, stunning scenery, plus its a really good read. I love all her books, especially this one and Rebecca

abr. 12, 2007, 7:29pm

There is a new book about Henry Morgan due out in May I believe. My husband read the gally and really enjoyed it. I can't recall the name of it however.

abr. 17, 2007, 5:52pm

#12 OMG I forgot about Defoe. Those books are hilarious! I think there's a new one coming out.

abr. 17, 2007, 7:23pm

I realize, Horatio Hornblower books, aren't really pirate books. But many people have recommended them to me since I like pirate books or sea adventure books. I've been trying to figure out what order to read them in. The publication order or the story order. Does anyone have a word of advice, which one?

abr. 17, 2007, 7:50pm

I read them in story order (I'm now on the last one), and that worked just fine for me. Midshipman Hornblower is a little iffy because you don't really know his character yet, but it's not a big problem.
On the other hand Beat to Quarters (I think that one was first in publication order) was probably one of the best while Midshipman is weaker (for me)
On the whole, I'd recommend story order, but I'd give him a little leeway.

abr. 18, 2007, 12:07pm

While we're on the subject, don't forget Patrick O'Brian Aubrey/Maturin novels. Not too many pirates, but lots of nautical goodness.

abr. 18, 2007, 12:54pm

Has anyone read The Pirates Own Book: Authentic Narratives of the Most Celebrated Sea Robbers? I took a look at on Amazon and I'm thinking of buying it. It looks like a good buy.

abr. 18, 2007, 2:28pm

I haven't read it, but it looks awesome! Its published by the Marine Research Society, so in my eyes that is a definate plus. I just added it to my wish list :-) I'd also be interested to know what people thought of this book!

abr. 30, 2007, 5:00pm

If anyone on this thread is into fantasy, you might enjoy Robin Hobb's Liveship Traders series. The first one is Ship of Magic. I'm reading it right now and it's pretty good so far. There's pirates and sea serpents and fishy folk and all kinds of good fun.

abr. 30, 2007, 5:39pm


That does sound like fun.
Has anybody heard anything about Midshipwizard Halcyon Blithe? The title alone has me just itching to get my hands on it... but I would like to know if it's worth the money or whether I should wait until I can find it somewhere used.

abr. 30, 2007, 8:02pm

#25 Wow, sounds like a ripoff of Robin Hobb, as well as Forester. Her books have sentient ships, as well, but written well before that one.

maig 1, 2007, 7:22pm

I just came across a book recently that looks really good,
Midshipman Quinn: Collection by Showell Styles. I don't believe it has any pirates, but it is a nautical adventure. Anybody here read it?

maig 9, 2007, 7:45am

My husband bemoans the fact that they don't make "real" pirate movies anymore. Movies like The Sea-Hawk and Captain Blood, which are both based on books by Rafael Sabatini. It made me interested in getting my hands on the books, 'cause I always like to read the book for comparison.

Then I heard about the book Pyrates by George MacDonald Fraser, which is a satire of the Sabatini novels. Has anyone read any of these older books?

29rhianna Primer missatge
maig 9, 2007, 8:33am

I would recommend the Bloody Jack series.

maig 9, 2007, 11:55am

> 28

I've read Captain Blood, but I couldn't really get into it. It was too slow for me outside of the action scenes. But a friend of mine adores all Sabatini novels she's ever found, so it's more of a personal taste issue.

31mpramanik Primer missatge
maig 26, 2007, 11:36pm

I recently finished Captain Blood, Sacaramouche, and Sea Hawk, Captain Blood being my favorite; all written by Sabatini. I have just ordered another Sabatini book if that is any indication. For reference I also like books like The Three Muskateers, Zorro, and Tarzan. High adventure, fast moving and a little romance. I hope this helps!

Editat: set. 21, 2007, 4:02pm

Pirateology was a lot of fun, as well as the accompanying Pirateology Guidebook and Model Set and the similar Pirate Soul.

I absolutely loved The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle as a child.

Lastly, I have Pirate Diary Journal of Jake Carpenter which is fun and visually quite pleasing.

nov. 13, 2007, 9:23pm

I've been thinking of buying The Pirate Primer: Mastering the Language of Swashbucklers and Rogues. Worthwhile?

nov. 19, 2007, 9:55pm

I would also like to add Black Swan by Sabatini to the list of really good pirate stories. It has just jumped up to one of my favorites.

35jefferywilliams Primer missatge
des. 8, 2007, 7:33pm

I am new here. Thank you for some good suggestions I wasn't aware of.

At the risk of coming across a self-promoter, I would like to offer my own novel and a couple others to this discussion — particularly to those interested in the story of Anne Bonney and Mary Reade, 18th Century women pirates in the Caribbean.

My novel PIRATE SPIRIT by Jeffery S. Williams was published in August of 2007. I am in the process of doing several book signings at Barnes and Noble Bookstores in California.

Two other novels about Anne Bonney and Mary Reade I have appreciated —
The Only Thing That Mattered by James L. Nelson
Sisters of the Sea

Books I used for researching — Under the Black Flag by Cordingly, The Pirate Hunter by Zacks, Pirates Own Book and Defoe's History of Pirates

des. 8, 2007, 11:50pm

Welcome Jeffery!

Your novel looks very interesting, I'm a sucker for Anne Bonney & Mary Reade. I've even kept Jane Yolen's Ballad of the Pirate Queens around despite the funny looks I get. Apparently I am deemed to old for picture books.

So thanks for the recommendations. I just got The Pirate Hunter in, and I'm hoping to settle down with it as soon as I get through exams.

Wish me luck!

des. 9, 2007, 12:58am

Thank you, Caramel,
Best of luck with your exams. And thank you for your kind words. I too look forward to picking up some of the recommended books mentioned on this site.
Take care.

abr. 28, 2008, 1:42pm

I have a copy of George Macdonald Fraser's The Pyrates I haven't read it yet. It's one of those books I've always meant to get around to eventually reading. I got it a book sale years ago. I always thought it looked like a good book to read.


juny 5, 2008, 9:39pm

I'm also a fan of Cordingly and enjoyed Defoe's book too. For anyone interested in Disney's pirate history, Pirates of the Caribbean: From The Magic Kingdom To The Movies by Jason Surrell is great. Lots of photos and sketches that begin with the original plans for the POC attraction at Disneyland in the 60's. Apparently the original idea was for a Madame Toussad-type of walk-through with pirate figurines.

juny 22, 2008, 7:48pm

Captain Blood of course...sure it's slow's an old book..but worth it to me at least...and there is a novel about some British kids kidnapped by pirates .and what followed..i can't recall the title...High wind in Jamaica????will get back when i am sure...anything with Lady/Pirates is jake by me

juny 30, 2008, 3:24am

I very recently read Pirates: Predators of the Seas by Angus Konstam. It's an illustrated history and quite a readable overview - I loved that it included the religious wars involving the Barbary Pirates and the pirates along the Chinese coast in addition to those more famous. My main quibble was that it didn't have a suggested reading list or bibliography.

abr. 4, 2009, 1:26am

Anyone interested in crossing the line into privateering might want to try The Lively Lady by Kenneth Roberts. The youthful hero, a merchant skipper, becomes a privateer after an unpleasant encounter with a British warship. Although the main characters are fictional, the War of 1812 setting is, to my knowledge, accurate. A bonus is the appearance of a famous historical privateer, Thomas Boyle of Baltimore (who had a U.S. Navy destroyer named after him). From what I've read of Captain Boyle, Roberts' portrayal of him is spot on! For those who like a little romance, that element is also present.

abr. 5, 2009, 7:47am

I just finished The Buccaneers by Iain Lawrence. It's the third in his High Seas Trilogy (I haven't read the other two yet). I really liked it - a lot of action, storms, a mysterious castaway, and encounters with a Navy captain turned dreadful pirate.

I see that he's written a number of nautical-themed books - has anybody read anything of his?

jul. 26, 2009, 10:22am

I recently read Real Pirates: The Untold Story of the Whydah by Barry Clifford. It's a National Geographic book that provides the history of this ship that was captained by Sam Bellamy and sank off the Cape Cod coast in 1717. Very interesting information, as Bellamy was one of the more successful pirates and the ship was full of prize money when it went down.

jul. 26, 2009, 10:52am

Fast Ships, Black Sails edited by Naomi Novik

ag. 5, 2009, 10:46pm

des. 17, 2010, 2:45am

There are plenty of pirates to be found in my own eBook, The Mysterious Case of Doctor Octavius Plum's Incredible Ever After Machine.

des. 17, 2010, 1:22pm

In the back od The Pyrates by George MacDonald Fraser there is a Bibliography with a list of books:

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
History of the Buccaneers of America by James Burney
Collins' French Primer Volumes 1 & 2
Voyages and Discoveries by William Dampier
Daniel Defoe:
Robinson Crusoe
Captain Singleton
The King of Pyrates
A General Historie of the... Most Notorious Pirates ( as Charles Johnson )
Ghosts of the Spain Main by Draycott M. Dell
Sir Athrur Conan Doyle Tales of Pirates and Blue Water
The Buccaneers of America by Alexander Esquemeling
John Evelyn Diary
Jeffrey Farnol
Adam Penfeather, Buccaneer
Black Bartlemy's Treasure
Martin Consiby's Vengeance
Winds of Fortune
Richard Hakluyt Voyages
T.B. Macaulay History of England
Frederick Marryat
Masterman Ready
Mr. Midshipman Easy
Peter Simple
The Newgate Calendar
Notable British Trials-The Bounty Mutineers
Captain Kidd
Samuel Pepys Diary
W.H. Prescott History of the Conquest of Peru
Stanley Rogers The Atlantic Buccaneer
Woodes Rogers A Cruising Voyage Round the World
Rafael Sabatini
Captain Blood
The Chronicles of Captain Blood
The Fortunes of Captain Blood
The Black Swan
The Hounds of God
The Sea Hawk
The Sword of Islam
Tobias Smollet The Adventures of Roderick Random
Robert Louis Stevenson
The Master of Ballantrae
Treasure Island
Jonathan Swift Gulliver's Travel's
W.F. Taylor Shirwah the Corsair
E.J. Trelawney Adventuers of a Younger Son
John Vanbrugh
The Provoked Wife
The Relapse
Lionel Wafer
A New Voyage and Description of the Isthmus of America
S. Walkey Rogues of the Roaring Glory
Gordon Ray Young Hurok the Avenger


des. 16, 2011, 1:41am

The best pirate book of them all is MINE!
'Mary Read: Sailor, Soldier, Pirate' is suitable for everyone over 14.
I spent 10 years researching it, and it reads really well. Available at you can get it an an ebook or paperback through Amazon.
Proud of it?
Hell yes!
Cherie Pugh