80 books like A General History of the Robberies & Murders of the Most Notorious Pirates

By Captain Charles Johnson,

Here are 80 books that A General History of the Robberies & Murders of the Most Notorious Pirates fans have personally recommended if you like A General History of the Robberies & Murders of the Most Notorious Pirates. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates

Wendy K. Perriman Author Of Fire on Dark Water

From my list on the real Pirates of the Caribbean.

Why am I passionate about this?

My fascination with pirates began as a student in Bristol (UK) – the legendary hometown of Edward Teach a.k.a. Blackbeard. Later, I visited the Pirates of Nassau Museum in the Bahamas and was amazed to learn there had been women buccaneers too. I wanted to discover more about these daring females and find out what might have enticed them to brave a tenuous life on the account. As fate would have it, I now live in North Carolina near the Outer Banks where Blackbeard met his fate. These experiences inspired me to write a different kind of adventure story about the real pirates of the Caribbean featuring a strong, resilient, swashbuckling female.

Wendy's book list on the real Pirates of the Caribbean

Wendy K. Perriman Why did Wendy love this book?

David Cordingly’s book is useful for its accurate and lively attempt to separate pirate facts from public fiction. He sifts through childhood tales of wooden legs and parrots to highlight the harsh realities experienced by most of these violent rogues. The tortures he describes serve to remind the reader that these were desperate times full of volatile career criminals. And the women were often as dangerous as their male counterparts! While considering Anne Bonny and Mary Read, he questions “Were there other women pirates?” and “How was it possible for a woman to pass herself off as a man in the cramped and primitive conditions on board an eighteenth-century ship?” These prompts helped me to focus on the issues my own female protagonist would have to overcome during her nautical adventures. I recommend this book because it is informative, thought-provoking, and entertaining.

By David Cordingly,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Under the Black Flag as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book sets out to discover the truth behind the stereotypical image of the pirate. Examining the rich literary and cultural legacy of piratical icons from Blackbeard to Captain Hook, the author compares the legends with their historical counterparts and comes up with some surprising conclusions. In a wider overview of the piracy myth, he explores its enduring and extraordinary appeal and assesses the reality behind the romance, answering in the process questions such as: why did men become pirates; were there any women pirates; how much money did they make from their plundering and looting; what effect did their…


Book cover of Bold in Her Breeches: Woman Pirates Across the Ages

Julie Walker Author Of Bonny & Read

From my list on female pirates and their inspiration.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been obsessed by the story of Anne Bonny and Mary Read since I heard about them in an Adam Ant song "Five Guns West". I know more than is good for me about pirates and wanted to share some of the fantastic books that inspired me when I wrote the novel Bonny & Read. Eighty years before Pride and Prejudice was written there were women armed with cutlasses roaming the Caribbean looking for ships to plunder – I want to give everyone the opportunity to learn more about this incredible hidden history.

Julie's book list on female pirates and their inspiration

Julie Walker Why did Julie love this book?

Anne Bonny and Mary Read weren’t history’s only female pirates – though you’ll find them here alongside some lesser-known names.

From Artemisia in Ancient Greece, though to Grace O’Malley, Cheng I Sao, and more, you’ll find stories on what drove these women to sea, and the freedom it offered them alongside the risks. Fascinating.

By Jo Stanley (editor),

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Bold in Her Breeches as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As far back as 480 BC, when Artemisia commanded her Greek trireme, women have taken to the high seas in pursuit of life and liberty. Simultaneously revered and reviled by superstitious male mariners, the realities of these women pirates' lives have been lost in a murky fog of sexual and racial preconceptions.
Bold in her Breeches takes a wholly fresh look at these mythical figures and places them in their true historical and cultural contexts. From Artemisia to the contemporary women pirates of today, via eighteenth-century Grace O'Malley and nineteenth-century Cheng I Sao, we learn why women took to piracy,…


Book cover of Blackbeard the Pirate

Wendy K. Perriman Author Of Fire on Dark Water

From my list on the real Pirates of the Caribbean.

Why am I passionate about this?

My fascination with pirates began as a student in Bristol (UK) – the legendary hometown of Edward Teach a.k.a. Blackbeard. Later, I visited the Pirates of Nassau Museum in the Bahamas and was amazed to learn there had been women buccaneers too. I wanted to discover more about these daring females and find out what might have enticed them to brave a tenuous life on the account. As fate would have it, I now live in North Carolina near the Outer Banks where Blackbeard met his fate. These experiences inspired me to write a different kind of adventure story about the real pirates of the Caribbean featuring a strong, resilient, swashbuckling female.

Wendy's book list on the real Pirates of the Caribbean

Wendy K. Perriman Why did Wendy love this book?

Lee’s reappraisal of Blackbeard (Edward Teach) examines the mythical persona of arguably the most notorious pirate of The Golden Age. But what is the truth behind the real man? In studying most of the extant evidence Lee displays a certain amount of respect for Blackbeard’s bravery, planning, psychological warfare tactics, and appetite for women, describing him as the “famous knight of the black flag.” This intriguing book offers an alternative view to Blackbeard the Monster.

By Robert E. Lee,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Blackbeard the Pirate as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard, was one of the most notorious pirates ever to plague the Atlantic coast. He was also one of the most colorful pirates of all time, becoming the model for countless blood-and-thunder tales of sea rovers. His daring exploits, personal courage, terrifying appearance, and fourteen wives made him a legend in his own lifetime. The legends and myths about Blackbeard have become wilder rather than tamer in the 250 years since his gory but valiant death at Ocracoke Inlet. It is difficult for historians, and all but impossible for the general reader, to separate fact…


Book cover of The Sea Rover's Practice: Pirate Tactics and Techniques, 1630-1730

Wendy K. Perriman Author Of Fire on Dark Water

From my list on the real Pirates of the Caribbean.

Why am I passionate about this?

My fascination with pirates began as a student in Bristol (UK) – the legendary hometown of Edward Teach a.k.a. Blackbeard. Later, I visited the Pirates of Nassau Museum in the Bahamas and was amazed to learn there had been women buccaneers too. I wanted to discover more about these daring females and find out what might have enticed them to brave a tenuous life on the account. As fate would have it, I now live in North Carolina near the Outer Banks where Blackbeard met his fate. These experiences inspired me to write a different kind of adventure story about the real pirates of the Caribbean featuring a strong, resilient, swashbuckling female.

Wendy's book list on the real Pirates of the Caribbean

Wendy K. Perriman Why did Wendy love this book?

Although I captain my own lake boat, I knew very little about ancient nautical sailing and warfare when I began writing Fire on Dark Water. Benerson Little’s book, The Sea Rover’s Practice, taught me about different types of crafts, weapons, battle tactics, sea villains, ship routines, sailor superstitions, methods of stealth attack, treatment of prisoners, and even the types of food eaten on board ship throughout 1630 – 1730. It was a very valuable resource.

By Benerson Little,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Sea Rover's Practice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

To read of sea roving's various incarnations - piracy, privateering, buccaneering, la flibuste, la course - is to bring forth romantic, and often violent, imagery. Indeed, much of this imagery has become a literary and cinematic cliche?. And what an image it is!

But its truth is by halves, and paradoxically it is the picaresque imagery of Pyle, Wyeth, Sabatini, and Hollywood that is often closer to the reality, while the historical details of arms, tactics, and language are often inaccurate or entirely anachronistic.

Successful sea rovers were careful practitioners of a complex profession that sought wealth by stratagem and…


Book cover of The Only Life That Mattered: The Short and Merry Lives of Anne Bonny, Mary Read, and Calico Jack Rackam

Helen Hollick Author Of Sea Witch

From my list on history, mystery, and nautical adventure.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a British author, a USA Today bestseller, scribbling stories since I was 13 but became a published author in the 1990s when I was 40 with a retelling of the King Arthur legend set in the post-Roman 5th century. I then wrote two novels concerning the pre-Norman Conquest era, and am currently writing a cozy mystery series set in the 1970s. I also love tall ships and the sea, particularly the Golden Age of Piracy (diverse subjects, I know!) I enjoyed the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, wanted to read something similar – fun, fantasy, and for adults, but couldn’t find anything... so wrote my own.

Helen's book list on history, mystery, and nautical adventure

Helen Hollick Why did Helen love this book?

Pirates. Who can resist the romanticized, swashbuckling Golden Age of piracy? (I know I can’t – my own created fictional character is a pirate!) Perhaps the most famous pirates of all are Anne Bonny, Mary Read, and Calico Jack Rackham. James L. Nelson’s novel about their scurrilous lives is based on the few historical records that exist, and he weaves a highly credible tale about their dastardly seafaring deeds – and how they came to be pirates in the first place. The author himself has a talent for writing exciting adventures and his knowledge of sailing a tall ship is unsurpassed – he actually worked aboard a replica tall ship, so he knows his stuff from stem to stern. This is an adult read with adult content of sex and violence, but then, these characters were pirates...

By James L. Nelson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Only Life That Mattered as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Fed up with an outlaw existence, Calico Jack Rackam swears off the pirate life, until he meets Anne Bonny, a woman who would as soon stab a man as give him a good tumble-that is, unless he's a pirate. Soon Jack finds himself out on the high seas, with Anne by his side and his men spoiling for action.


Book cover of The Republic of Pirates: Being the True and Surprising Story of the Caribbean Pirates and the Man Who Brought Them Down

Laura Nelson Author Of The Water Tiger

From my list on pirates (fact and fiction).

Why am I passionate about this?

My interest in pirates began after attending the Real Pirates exhibit in Denver, Colorado, in 2011. All I can say now is that while I walked through the exhibit, I felt as though the pirates were personally speaking to me, asking me to tell the world their stories. I wrote several non-fiction articles about some of the men who sailed with Sam Bellamy on the Whydah Galley, the vessel featured in the exhibit. The writing and research were fun and fulfilling. In the last few years, I moved into fiction because I like reading fantasy myself and I wanted to explore the freedom of writing without having to document everything I wrote about.

Laura's book list on pirates (fact and fiction)

Laura Nelson Why did Laura love this book?

This was one of the first books I read as part of my research about pirates during the Golden Age of Piracy.

It has a bibliography and footnotes, but it reads more like an adventure novel. You can read it for research, entertainment, or both. Everything in this book really happened. It’s one of the best starting points for someone to learn about piracy in the early 1700s.

By Colin Woodard,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Republic of Pirates as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An entrancing tale of piracy colored with gold, treachery and double-dealing (Portland Press Herald), Pulitzer Prize-finalist Colin Woodward's The Republic of Pirates is the historical biography of the exploits of infamous Caribbean buccaneers.

In the early eighteenth century, the Pirate Republic was home to some of the great pirate captains, including Edward "Blackbeard" Teach, "Black Sam" Bellamy, and Charles Vane. Along with their fellow pirates — former sailors, indentured servants, and runaway slaves — this "Flying Gang" established a crude but distinctive democracy in the Bahamas, carving out their own zone of freedom in which servants were free, blacks could…


Book cover of Empire of Blue Water: Captain Morgan's Great Pirate Army, the Epic Battle for the Americas, and the Catastrophe That Ended the Outlaws' Bloody Reign

Laura Nelson Author Of The Water Tiger

From my list on pirates (fact and fiction).

Why am I passionate about this?

My interest in pirates began after attending the Real Pirates exhibit in Denver, Colorado, in 2011. All I can say now is that while I walked through the exhibit, I felt as though the pirates were personally speaking to me, asking me to tell the world their stories. I wrote several non-fiction articles about some of the men who sailed with Sam Bellamy on the Whydah Galley, the vessel featured in the exhibit. The writing and research were fun and fulfilling. In the last few years, I moved into fiction because I like reading fantasy myself and I wanted to explore the freedom of writing without having to document everything I wrote about.

Laura's book list on pirates (fact and fiction)

Laura Nelson Why did Laura love this book?

This is a well-researched book, told in the style of an adventure novel.

It’s a great book for those who want to learn about pirates but maybe don’t really want to “read history.” Everything in it is true. This book is set during the time of Captain Morgan and covers the period of time when pirates ruled Port Royal, Jamaica, and the earthquake that destroyed it.

It talks about Captain Morgan’s conquests and what it might have been like during the destruction of Port Royal.  

By Stephan Talty,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Empire of Blue Water as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Henry Morgan, a twenty-year-old Welshman, arrived in the New World in 1655, hell-bent on making his fortune. Over the next three decades, his exploits in the Caribbean in the service of the English became legend. His daring attacks on the mighty Spanish Empire on land and sea changed the fates of kings and queens. His victories helped shape the destiny of the New World.

Morgan gathered disaffected English and European sailors and soldiers, hard-bitten adventurers, runaway slaves, cutthroats and sociopaths and turned them into the fiercest and most feared army in the Western Hemisphere. Sailing out from the English stronghold…


Book cover of Port Royal

MaryLu Tyndall Author Of Veil of Pearls

From my list on on the edge of your seat Christian romance.

Why am I passionate about this?

What can I say? I’m a hopeless romantic. There’s nothing better than a great romance novel set in the past when chivalry was not dead. I’m a published author of more than twenty-five novels, including a great pirate series. I grew up in Florida and fell in love with the tropics as I sat on the beach and dreamt of handsome pirates. Once I became a Christian, I started reading Christian romances but found many of them moved a little slow to my liking, so I decided to write one myself! I have a BA in Computer Science and have won several awards for my writing.   

MaryLu's book list on on the edge of your seat Christian romance

MaryLu Tyndall Why did MaryLu love this book?

Who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned pirate romance? I read all of Linda Chaikin’s pirate books long before I even started writing. She is an excellent novelist who does impeccable research. Her characters are lovable, the ship scenes exciting, the romance invigorating, and well, the stories are just plain fun!  

By Linda Chaikin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Port Royal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The scene is Jamaica in the 1700s--a world of smuggling, slaves, and sugar plantations. A British viscount turned pirate meets a woman with a noble cause. Romance, adventure, and Christian history are interspersed in this exciting series.


Book cover of The Buccaneers of America

Virginia Chandler Author Of The Devil's Treasure: The Complete Tale

From my list on pirates, history, and legend.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m not a real pirate, at least not most of the time, but as a kid, I wanted to be one. I was firmly in love with the romantic “Robin Hood” type legends of the pirate kings. As an adult, the love for all things pirate became a fascination with the pirate archetype, pirate history, and pirate legend. But, honestly, for me, it’s the mystery. There are so many mysteries involving pirates: Where did they hide their treasure? Was there a secret pirate kingdom called Libertalia? Were there pirate curses? This prompted me to research and write The Devil’s Treasure, inspired by the need to know, the need to solve, the need to conquer. 

Virginia's book list on pirates, history, and legend

Virginia Chandler Why did Virginia love this book?

While researching for my own book, and feeding my own passion for all things pirate, I was surprised and then curious to learn that the term “buccaneer” of the high seas refers to a different tribe, if you will, of the pirate brotherhood. This text was first published in 1678 and is a firsthand, eyewitness account, of buccaneer activities by the author himself, Alexander Exquemelin. The author claims, (and there is no reason to doubt him, by the way), that he was “employed” as a surgeon with a group of buccaneers and what follows in the text are his harrowing, and fascinating, observations of life as a buccaneer in the 17th century. This is another “must-have” and “must-read” for the modern-day pirate.

By Alexander O. Exquemelin, Alexis Brown (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Buccaneers of America as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A cross between genuine privateers, commissioned to defend a country's colonies and trade, and outright pirates, buccaneers were largely English, French, and Dutch adventurers who plied the waters among the Caribbean Islands and along the coasts of Central America, Venezuela, and Colombia more than 300 years ago. The activities of these bands of plundering sea rovers reached a peak in the second half of the seventeenth century, when this remarkable eyewitness account was first published (1678).
Alexander Exquemelin, thought to be a Frenchman who enlisted with the buccaneers for a time, chronicles the bold feats of these raiders as they…


Book cover of Oathbound

Grace A. Johnson Author Of Held Captive

From my list on romantic swashbuckling adventure.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since I was twelve years old and scribbling stories in an old notebook, I’ve been in love with pirate romance. The intense adventure, the dramatic romance, the freedom of the sea—and most importantly, the chance to find love and redemption, a theme that’s prominent in my Christian pirate romance series and the novels I read and enjoy! This list curates some of the top pirate/privateer novels I’ve read, all with clean romance and inspiring themes, to keep your TBR filled with swashbuckling high-seas voyages!

Grace's book list on romantic swashbuckling adventure

Grace A. Johnson Why did Grace love this book?

There’s only one thing that can compare to historical pirate romance...fantasy pirate romance! Oathbound by Victoria McCombs is one of many amazing clean fantasy pirate novels out there, perfect for historical pirate readers looking for something new or long-time fantasy fans in search of a swashbuckling adventure full of intrigue, spookiness, and all the pirate vibes! Pirates of the Caribbean lovers (like myself) will love this YA fantasy novel!

By Victoria McCombs,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Oathbound as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Beware the waters. The dangerous deep brings ruin to all.

Emme has spent her life avoiding anything to do with pirates. But the fates are cruel, and now a hidden sickness leads her to partner with pirates for the one thing that can save her—a cure on an island none are certain exists.

The pirate captain’s secrets are darker than the deep and threaten to kill them all. His obligations are tinged with betrayal, for his oathbind must be fulfilled. To ignore it is to invite peril of unimaginable destruction.

As the adventure unfolds, the sea takes more than she…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Pirates, the Caribbean, and Anne Bonny?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Pirates, the Caribbean, and Anne Bonny.

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