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A History of Pirates: Blood and Thunder on the High Seas
 
 

A History of Pirates: Blood and Thunder on the High Seas [Kindle Edition]

Nigel Cawthorne
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

The modern image of the pirate is derived from Captain Charles Johnson’s accounts of the cut-throats who sailed under the Jolly Roger. It was he who gave mythical status to the likes of Blackbeard and Captain Kidd. Using contemporary sources, Nigel Cawthorne now turns the spotlight on the reality of pirate life, revealing the truth behind the legends. It gives us an insight into the men – and women – their weapons, their ships, their unhappy victims and their hide-outs, including the capital city of the pirate ‘empire’, Port Royal in Jamaica – known as the ‘wickedest city in the world’.

Synopsis

The modern image of the pirate is derived from Captain Charles Johnson's accounts of the cut-throats who sailed under the Jolly Roger. It was he who gave mythical status to the likes of Blackbeard and Captain Kidd. Using contemporary sources, Nigel Cawthorne now turns the spotlight on the reality of pirate life, revealing the truth behind the legends. It gives us an insight into the men - and women - their weapons, their ships, their unhappy victims and their hide-outs, including the capital city of the pirate 'empire', Port Royal in Jamaica - known as the 'wickedest city in the world'.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1012 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Arcturus Publishing (1 Sep 2003)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006JAGEGY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #67,667 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Nigel Cawthorne is the author of some eighty books - and a major contributor to at least twenty more. He lives in a flat girlfriends have described as a book-writing factory in Bloomsbury, London's literary area, and writes in the great British Library, which is supposed to be one of the best pick-up joints in London. However, his reputation is such that people will tell you he is more often seen drinking in Soho's famous bohemian watering hole, the French pub - still known to some denizens as the Yorkminster - with a beautiful young woman on his arm.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Join up the dots naval history 5 Feb 2005
Format:Paperback
Not what I expected: I'm not even sure what I expected but it wasn't this; an erudite explanation of everything piratey, matey. I have read most of the Dudley Pope, Alexander Kent series, and odd volumes of the rest of the naval crew. This book explained the ships, the rigging, the terminology and the historical background to all the saltwater tales of both pirates and navy. It was the book that I had needed to read a long time ago. I will read this again, just for interest and general knowledge and dip into whenever I get around to rereading the Ramage, Bolitho etc collections. This book explains all the details they leave out. Much much better than the cover and title suggest.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars cawtorne's pirates 27 Sep 2005
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This study produces no new information on early-modern piracy, and its arrangement of topics is not particularly innovative, but for the absolute newcomer to the topic there are few books as simple and accessable. An abundance of spelling errors and a short bibliography hints how quickly the book was thrown together. Nevertheless, it covers the basic areas concerning ships, weapons, and so on that most people imagine when considering the contents of a book on piracy. A worthwhile read by an author who writes in a clear and readable fashion, but for anyone more interested in a different type of history than Cawtorne's (if that is indeed his real name, which i doubt) simple chapter headings, books by David Cordingley or Marcus Redicker may prove much more fun.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Just A word of caution 12 Jun 2008
Format:Paperback
Can't disagree with either of other two reviews. An easy introduction to Pirates mostly in the Caribbean. The word of caution is that the text of this book is exactly the same as "Pirates : An Illustrated History" by the same author. So you can take your pick as to which version you want.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not yet read 3 Feb 2013
By G Smith
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I havnt had time to fully read the book but on the face of it it appears to be informative.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.3 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit disorganized but not as dry as some history I've read. 17 Jun 2004
By Grant Reed - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
History of Pirates: Blood and Thunder on the High Seas focuses on piracy in the Caribbean sea, from the 1500s to the early 1800s.
The biggest problem with the book is that it is not particularly well organized. The chapters are relatively well ordered but internal to the chapter, the author will introduce one topic, then drift away from it, before returning to his reported topic. This led me to need to reread some passages, to determine exactly who or what he was writing about. This is particulary evident as he starts to discuss an individual pirate, begins discussing an associated pirate or two, and then returns to the first one.
The information seems accurate enough, but much f it appears to be drawn from the writings of other authors. Fortunately, it is not written from a standard academic (Self-important and wordy) approach and is relatively easy to read. In many places it even seems to draw the reader on.
I would have preferred a more organized approach, and possibly an appendix of famous pirates, but overall I found the book an adequate diversion.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Merry Life and a Short One 21 Aug 2005
By David Stapleton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
A rambling work at best. The author does indeed drift around at times, leaving a topic unfinished to explore other avenues before returning to the original topic. We, also, are not talking about much in the way of original material (much of it comes from Captain Charles Johnson, Alexandre Exquemelin, and recent authors like David Cordingly).

However, there are redeeming qualities to the book. For one it is an entertaining read, the author uses a smooth style that makes for easy reading. The author covers a range of topics from ships, weapons and havens to the origins of and suppression of piracy during the Golden Age. There are numerous names mentioned, from the well known and notorious to the lesser know footnotes in history. The period covered spans from the early 1500s to the early 1800s, told for the most part from the English and French point of view.

In short, a good book for an overview or brief reference (although I still recommend David Cordingly or Angus Konstam for broader, more polished coverage or pirates).

P-)
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Serious disappointment 19 April 2009
By Ben Hurt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I picked up this book this afternoon, looking forward to an entertaining evening, but after 20 pages I doubt that I will return to it. The rambling, disorganized style is indeed one reason, but when that is combined with typo after typo, it is simply too distracting to continue. The cover says Cawthorne has contributed to and edited over 100 books. He couldn't edit a high school essay from what I see (I am a retired English teacher). Sadly, a few dollars spent on a professional editor could have made this a fun read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Second Edition Could Bring Some Improvements 25 Jan 2006
By Matthew P. Arsenault - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Cawthorne' History of Pirates, although not academically rigorous, is approached in a somewhat systematic fashion and provides an interesting, readable description of a unique chapter in history. Rather than compose a treatise on particular pirates and their idiosyncrasies, Cawthorne describes the prate era, roughly 1780 - 1830, with a wide brush. The author explores the global political situation of the times, the constant warfare between Britain, France and Spain, the booming colonial expansion, and the role pirates played in shaping the New World. In addition, Cawthorne depicts a pirate's life aboard ship and the unique social structure which accompanies life on the high seas. If I could make a suggestion, Cawthorne could have spent more time on his chapters on weapons and ships. The work in these segments was marginal at best and seems out of place wedged between sections on "the richest and wickedest city in the new world," and life aboard ships. Nevertheless, I found History of Pirates an interesting and insightful beginning to a more in depth understanding of the Caribbean pirates, but this work would not be a one volume history of the subject.
3.0 out of 5 stars A book for anyone 27 April 2006
By R. Howell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Nigel Cawthorne brings a book to us about pirates which can be read by anyone and you don't have to be an historian to understand the book. It's laid out in plain terms and covers the era of piracy in the varied aspects of weaponry, ships, locales, and the pirates themselves. The book could have been a bit more thorough on weapons and ships but then the lay-person would lose interest with any more detail, I think. He covers pirates such as Calico Jack, Henry Morgan, Anne Bonny, Blackbeard, and Captain Kidd among others. The coverage is in depth enough to hold your interest but not bogged down with meaningless details that only an historian would care about (this coming from an historian). You'll learn some nifty trivia and dispel numerous movie myths about pirates like buried treasure and walking the plank to name two. Overall, good book for someone looking to pick up the basics on piracy history but not overbearing. My only big complaints are 1) I wish there were more on Blackbeard but then that's what biographies are for and 2) organization of the material within the chapters, lost of sidetracking going on.
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