Thursday, August 9, 2007

Shiver me timbers!

As a boy pirates always captured my imagination. They were colourful, violent, bad and cool in so many ways. Having just read Peter Earle's The Pirate Wars I realise they were cooler and badder than I could have imagined.
Pirates had an interesting history and mythology and it is sometimes difficult to tell the difference between them, but Earle does an admirable (wink, wink) job all the same. Pirates were the scourge of the sea and lived very violent lives, either being chased or hired by various governments in Europe. Yet they were also one of the most democratic institutions on the planet, every one on the ship got to vote on who was to be captain, this included women if they were part of the crew, and there are examples of female pirates.

So find a copy of this look at the golden years of pirating and enjoy a slice of the nasty side of history.

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