So, I actually had a look at Amazon’s Sunshine Sale thing yesterday and discovered a load of pirate books! (Well, only one’s an actual PIRATE book but you get what I mean.) Naturally, I had to have them:
Actually, I don’t think this one’s part of the Sunshine thing at all. But it’s only 99 cents so how could I refuse? A little dry but precisely written, and fascinating for that.
I’d love to have this as a physical book, but the Kindle version is adequate enough. Not splendidly formatted but chock-full of nautical slang. There’s perhaps not the detail I’d like, but the ‘flavour’ kind of compensates. For example, the entry for Able-Whackets:
“A popular sea-game with cards, wherein the loser is beaten over the palms of his hands with a handkerchief tightly twisted like a rope. Very popular with horny-fisted salts.”
“Crimps, pettifogging attorneys, slopmongers, and the canaille infesting the slums of sea-port towns.”
Remind me to use ‘pettifogging’ more often, incidentally. Overall it’s a very decent reference work, but the lack of formatting–not even ‘quick jump’ navigation marks–lets it down. Still for 99 cents I’m not complaining.
Aha, now HERE we go. I stayed up reading this last night until I literally couldn’t keep my eyes open. Fascinating, fascinating story–there’s a lot of background stuff at the beginning (it’s funny, there’s actually very little ‘source’ material for pirate research so once you’ve read a couple of books about them you keep seeing the same stories again and again–still, a refresher never hurts) but once it gets into Bart’s actual career it’s hard to stop reading. Again, the formatting is odd and they use a custom font which adds character but which isn’t the most readable in the world, but who cares, this is great stuff. $1.99, you can’t go wrong with that. Bargain.