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A Thousand Years of Pirates [Kindle Edition]

William Gilkerson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $32.95
Kindle Price: $17.99
You Save: $14.96 (45%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

For as long as they’ve existed, pirates have conjured up visions of high-seas adventure and skullduggery, sea chases and bloody battles, dangerous coastal lairs and buried treasure. Rightly so, for ever since ships have carried valuable cargo, pirates have enraged monarchs and struck terror into the hearts of honest seamen with their willingness to risk life and limb for an undeserved share of the riches. Whether the cargo was gold or silver, spices or silks, animal or human, there have always been villains ruthless enough to kill or be hanged for it.

From the days of the Vikings to the present and in all the oceans of the world, pirates have made their presence known and feared. Recorded here are their stories along with striking images of ships, storms at sea, and secret harbors where “black ships” could be re-stocked and refitted.

Award-winning author and artist William Gilkerson has spent years researching and painting their colorful history. From the terrible Black Beard to the fascinating Granuaile, or Grace O’Malley as the English called her, they have come to life under his brush. One can almost hear the creak of timbers, the snap of canvas while turning the pages. This gift book is a rich treasure in its own right.


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

So often rendered as caricatures, pirates are given scholarly scrutiny in this handsome and invigorating overview. Short but dense chapters introduce the major factions, characters, and incidents that connect the scattered history of seagoing bandits. Early on, Gilkerson explodes the very concept of “piracy” by claiming Spain’s plundering of the Aztecs and other Native peoples “may be seen as the greatest act of piracy in the history of the Americas.” The biographical sketches of the criminals-for-hire, scalawags, and rogues include England’s “Sea Dog” Francis Drake; the “pirate queen of Ireland,” Granuaile; and Scotland’s Captain Kidd, whose shriveled, hanging corpse for a while served as a warning message to seafarers. Mutinies and murders are the easy stuff—it’s Gilkerson’s grasp of the politics surrounding each nation’s pirates that is most impressive. Although maintaining a narrative flow is difficult when covering so much ground, the abundant paintings lend a swashbuckling visual consistency. For report writers, this sequel of sorts to the author’s Pirate’s Passage (2006) is essential reading. Grades 6-10. --Daniel Kraus

About the Author

William Gilkerson is a sailor, painter, journalist, and historian. He is the author of ten nonfiction books on nautical topics as well as works of satire, art commentary, and fiction. His two-volume treatise on the development of ship’s weapons, Boarders Away, is a standard text. His drawings, watercolors, and oils have been featured in several major exhibitions and have been reproduced in books, magazines, and on film. William Gilkerson lives in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia.

Product Details

  • File Size: 15865 KB
  • Print Length: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Tundra Books (January 18, 2010)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0036FOH46
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,900,926 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning collection sea tales for young and old December 24, 2009
Format:Hardcover
"A Thousand Years of Pirates" is a 96-page chapter book for kids age 10 and up about guess what, pirates! Ten spectacular pirates' tales and legends are retold and beautifully illustrated by haunting paintings. Although the author declares most of the tales to be fiction, they come from a long tradition and are carefully researched for their authenticity and correct historical context. "A Thousand Years of Pirates" is unafraid to show the dark side of a pirate's life, a feature which may appeal to some of its intended audience. Catch the excitement of the real life experience of a prate's adventures in this stunning collection sea tales for young and old.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The finest illustrator alive in this nautical genre February 15, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
William Gilkerson has written the finest non-fiction book about pirates. He is also the finest illustrator alive in this nautical genre,
His other fictional nautical novels are some of the most entertaining stories written in this genre.
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