HIstory of the Pyrates – Daniel Defoe

HIstory of the Pyrates - Daniel Defoe

This excellent 1724 book was published in Britain, containing biographies of contemporary pirates. Influential in shaping popular conceptions of pirates, it is the prime source for the biographies of many well known pirates. This book introduced many features which later became common in pirate literature, such as pirates with missing legs or eyes, the myth of pirates burying treasure, and the name of the pirates flag the Jolly Roger. The author specifically cites two pirates as having named their flag Jolly Roger, (named after the first Pirate and his crew); Welsh pirate Bartholomew Roberts in June, 1721, and English pirate Francis Spriggs in December 1723. In giving an almost mythical status to the more colorful characters, such as the infamous English pirates Blackbeard and Calico Jack, the book provided the standard account of the lives of many people still famous in the 21st century, and influenced pirate literature of Robert Louis Stevenson and J.M.Barrie.

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