- Paperback: 296 pages
- Publisher: Random House Trade (9 May 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 081297722X
- ISBN-13: 978-0812977226
- Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 1.8 x 20.2 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,969 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates Paperback – 9 May 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
Since he's writing for Western audiences, Author David Cordingly focuses on the pirates, buccaneers, and corsairs of European background, who infested the waters of the Atlantic and Indian oceans and the Caribbean during the 17th and 18th centuries. The book's twelve chapters reveal everything you've ever wanted to know about swashbuckling pirates and piracy: the ships, pirate flags, buried treasure, recruitment, plunderings, pirate violence, famous captains (e.g. Kidd, Blackbeard, Morgan, Rackam, Vane, Roberts), women pirates, pirates' women, pirate life on land and sea, marooning, walking the plank, pirate islands and haunts, pirates in the media (books, stage plays, films), pirate trials and executions, wooden legs and, yes, parrots.
Upon finishing UNDER THE BLACK FLAG, I tried to think of a reason not to award five stars, and couldn't. The volume is extensively researched, well organized, written with the popular audience in mind, eminently instructive, and not without humor. Sixteen pages of photographs complement the text. If you're interested in the topic, I can't recommend it too highly. Aaargh!
By the way, what does "shiver me timbers" mean, anyway?
The author explains convincly why men - and sometimes women - turned to piracy. He reveals pirates to have had a strange kind of democracy: they voted for their own captain and shared the spoils of piracy between them in a pre-drawn up agreement that would rival any modern day stuffy corporate partnership.
Cordingly exposes the myths, e.g., walking the plank, buried treasure and even provides a fascinating history of the development of coins, the word 'pesos' apparently is directly derived from the Spanish for 'pieces of eight' as is 'escudos'.
A very interesting book if you enjoy history and loved the film, 'Pirates of the Caribbean' (Johnny Depp is closely modelled on Blackbeard). Well-balanced and well-written (apart from an annoying habit of using the word, 'which' instead of, 'that').
The naval & geography narrative is good, too. Cordingly describes the ships, brigantines and sloops lovingly and masterfully.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very interesting. I have always found pirates interesting and this book was a very enjoyable read.Published 1 day ago by hertsj
This is a clear, well-written and scholarly account of the "golden age" of piracy written by an expert in maritime history.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is a brilliant book about pirates couldn't put it down easy to read very informative recommend this to anyone interested in privatePublished 9 months ago by softderch
a nice quick read, hard to put down. which is rare for a non-fiction work of this sort.Published 17 months ago by BA Bulman
I took this book on holiday with me recently and couldn't put it down. If you haven't read any books on the history of pirates before this is a great place to start. Read morePublished 17 months ago by July Japer