A General History of the Pirates

By Captain Charles Johnson,

Book cover of A General History of the Pirates

Book description

A General History of the Pyrates by Captain Charles Johnson was published in 1724. As the primary source of biographies of some of the most notorious pirates it influenced popular conceptions of the lifestyles. Missing legs or eyes, burying treasure and the name of the pirates flag the Jolly Roger…

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3 authors picked A General History of the Pirates as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

If you want to know the “history” of ye olde pirates, this is the penultimate of pirate history books. A General History of the Pirates was first published in 1724 for a surprisingly eager audience of readers. Daniel Defoe was, (and is), known for his fiction, such as Robinson Crusoe and Moll Flanders, so he was a popular author at the time. However, it could not have been predicted that readers were so interested in the details concerning the scourge of the high seas, our beloved “bloodthirsty” pirates. Yet, this book, despite it being a flamboyant and rather colorful…

From Virginia's list on pirates, history, and legend.

The book where it all started in terms of popular and romanticized ideas about pirates, ‘Captain Johnson’ (a pseudonym) relates the sensational stories of the lives and deaths of a number of famous pirates: Blackbeard, Stede Bonnet, Anne Bonny, Henry Every, John Gow, Calico Jack Rackham, and Mary Read, to name but a few. With considerably embellished biographies, even creating completely fictional pirate lives at times, the book is stuffed full of outrageous acts and colourful characters, and it has been an international bestseller ever since. Indeed, the tall tales and pirate myths it created have fueled and inspired the…

From Claire's list on pirates in the age of sail.

First published in 1724, and expanded in subsequent years, A General History is the granddaddy of all pirate books. It focuses mainly on those pirates who sailed the seas between the late 1710s and the mid-1720s, but also reaches as far back as the late 1600s. All the “celebrity” pirates are here, including Henry Avery (or Every), Blackbeard, Captain Kidd, Stede Bonnet, and Sam Bellamy. And their stories are told with considerable panache. It is undeniable, however, that Johnson entirely made up a number of things, added literary embellishments, and took liberties with many of the quotes he ascribed to…

From Eric's list on piracy and pirates.

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