Monday, April 26, 2010

Real Pirates

Clifford, Barry. 2008. Real Pirates: The Untold Story of the Whydah from Slave Ship to Pirate Ship.Washington, DC: National Geographic.

(This is not a new book, but it's a great fit if your library is participating in this summer's water-themed summer reading program, Make a Splash @ Your Library.)

A thoroughly investigated re-creation of a doomed ship's final journey. From its beginnings as a slave ship plying the lucrative trade route from Europe to Africa to the New World, to its capture by famed pirate, Sam Bellamy, to its sinking along the Cape Cod coastline, Barry Clifford tells the riveting true story of The Whydah's last voyage. Reinforced with photographed artifacts from the ship, painted illustrations, and replicas of period charts and drawings, the story of The Whydah is enhanced by the secondary story of how the persistent Barry Clifford unearthed the sunken vessel's secrets.


Small print and numerous illustrations are employed to tell the story in short titled sections, "Flying the Jolly Roger," The Storm at Sea," etc. Particularly interesting is "The Articles,"

"Even though the pirates were criminals, they insisted that the Articles be strictly obeyed."

One such article from "Ye Articles of ye Gentlemen of Fortune,"
Any Man who Strikes or Abuses another of Company shall suffer such Punishement as ye Company shall deeme ffit & Just. Every Man's Quarrel to be settled a shoar with Sword & Pistol & be Adjudged Fair Fighy by ye Quarter-Master.
(from Captain Charles Johnson's A General History of the Pyrates, 1724)


Index, suggested reading, references and websites complete the book.For older readers interested in pirate lore or shipwrecks. Fascinating!

And be sure to check out the Wydah Exhibit, headed soon to St. Louis, MO.
Today's Non-Fiction Monday is at Check It Out. Check it out!
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