Pirates! Thousands of ’em! Don’t fire until you see the yellow of their eyes, lads!

10 Jun

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:

How Britannia Came To Rule The Waves

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.

Nautical Terms – The Sailor’s Word-book

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.”

Or Land-Sharks:

“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.

If a Pirate I Must Be…: The True Story of Black Bart, King of the Caribbean Pirates

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.


Posted by on June 10, 2011 in Just Other Stuff


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2 responses to “Pirates! Thousands of ’em! Don’t fire until you see the yellow of their eyes, lads!

  1. George

    June 10, 2011 at 15:15

    Great–another book to read. The one on the history of the British Navy sounds fascinating, and I’ve already downloaded it.

  2. Mo

    June 11, 2011 at 04:09

    I added the book about Black Bart to my wishlist, thanks for the recommendation. In university I took a 3rd year history course on pirates which was pretty cool. The instructor brought in an old flintlock pistol from the 1800s that we all got to hold. 😀


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