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The Golden Book of Buccaneers by John…

The Golden Book of Buccaneers

by John Gilbert

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I've had this book in my collection longer than any other book I own. I literally received it while I was still learning to write my name, and my first name and last initial are printed in pencil in the bottom right corner of the first page in handwriting so carefully and precisely practiced that it in no way resembles my present incautious and barbaric scrawl. Over a great many years it has remained one of my favorites.

The book is actually fairly comprehensive for what it is... I've seen a few books on piracy, and I don't feel as if I've ever encountered one more impressive. The writing is engaging, suitable not just for the the children who are the presumed audience for Golden books, but for adults as well. The illustrations are absolutely beautiful, with full-color images throughout the book depicting the events described as well as some black-and-white illustrations depicting cross-sections of ships, stern lanterns, the process of priming a matchlock musket, weapons, treasure, rigging, pirate flags, and other interesting topics. No particular subject is covered in enormous detail, but subjects ranging from as far back as Julius Caesar's encounter with Aegean pirates in 78 B.C. up until Robert Surcouf's raid on the H.M.S. Kent in 1800 are covered briefly. There is even mention of Philistine naval raids against the fleet of Pharaoh Rameses III going back to the 12th century B.C.

Notable figures such as Blackbeard (Edward Teach) are covered, as is Andrew Selkirk (the "real Robinson Crusoe"), Jean Lafitte, Bartholomew Roberts, Captain William Kidd, Sir Francis Drake, Anne Bonny and Mary Read, and other, less well-known figures.

In summary, I consider this to be the best introduction to the history of piracy a person could wish for. For most people, excepting those few who wish to research as much as possible, whether because they're fascinated with the subject or because they're planning an expedition to find sunken treasure, this should more than suffice for their needs entirely. And in truth over these many years I've found the book itself so attractive that it's been a repeated pleasure to simply sit down with it and browse the illustrations, reading occasional passages that catch my eye, skipping from page to page casually to pass the time. I highly recommend it. ( )
  IbnAlNaqba | Jul 12, 2010 |
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On a fine spring day in 1717, a French merchantman carrying a rich cargo of wine, silks and ivory ploughed a steady course westward through the calm waters of the Caribbean.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307168115, Hardcover)

Traces the exploits of well-known pirates and buccaneers who sailed the seas in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. Included are Blackbeard, Pierre Le Grand, Captain Kidd, and Jean Lafitte.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:33 -0400)

Traces the exploits of well-known pirates and buccaneers who sailed the seas in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. Included are Blackbeard, Pierre Le Grand, Captain Kidd, and Jean Lafitte.

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