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The Pirate Ship 1660-1730 (New Vanguard) Paperback – June 20, 2003
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What you should expect to find in this book ... Topics include the design, origins, and conversion of pirate ships; small vessels and pirate flagships; and the pirate ship in action. The narration is easy to read and nicely detailed, and of course the main subject of the book is the pirate ship itself. One of my favorite passages was the real-life entry of a pirate-attack survivor, who talked about how his merchant ship engaged in bloody combat with pirates while (shockingly) two other merchant ships looked on, doing nothing to help.
What you won't find in this book ... I knew this book wasn't about the pirates themselves, as there are other books in this series written by this author that exclusively discuss pirates (or buccaneers). What I HAD hoped for, and didn't find, was a discussion about what living in a pirate ship was like (where did they eat, sleep, use the restroom, etc.?). As a side note, the closest I've ever come to seeing what life aboard a pirate ship might have been like was visiting the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Sweden, which has a restored 17th century warship and includes a display on life inside the ship. It's a neat museum.
Anyway, this was a good little book for those interested in pirate ships. A recent pirate book I read and highly recommend is UNDER THE BLACK FLAG, which was rather entertaining for non-fiction.
- The Design of the Ideal Pirate Ship
- The Origins of the Pirate Ships
- The Conversion of a Prize
- Small Pirate Vessels
- Pirate Flagships
- The Pirate Ship in Action
That said, The Pirate Ship did increase, to some degree at least, my understanding of the wide variety of ships pirates actually used and of how the popular film versions of pirate ships do not reflect the reality of most historical pirate ships. It is also useful in familiarizing the reader with the historical terms used to distinguish various types of ships of the period (brigantines, sloops, shallops, fluyts, etc) and how one could tell the differences (square-rigged, fore-and-aft rigged, gaff-rigged, lateen-rigged). In fact, not all vessels we think of as ships were actually considered such:
"Today, the word 'ship' means any large, sea-going vessel. To the mariners of the 18th century, the term had a far more precise meaning. To them, a ship was a sailing vessel that had three masts and carried square-rigged sails. This included the majority of warships, including ships-of-the-line, the larger merchantmen, East India Company ships, and some slave ships (or 'guineamen') Other substantial sailing vessels such as polaccas (polacres), tartans, fluyts and others were not strictly considered ships.Read more ›
The Contents are -
P04: The Design of the Ideal Pirate Ship
P08: The Origins of the Pirate Ship
P12: The Conversion of a Prize
P15: Small Pirate Vessels
P21: Pirate Flagships
P34: The Pirate Ship in Action
P44: Colour Plate Commentary
The Colour Plates
A: The Brigantine Ranger of Charles Vane c.1790 - a full side view with sails & rigging
B: The Royal James and the Henry, Cape Fear River, North Carolina, 27 September 1718 - this is a painting showing both ships aground during their battle, but still firing on each other.
C: The Adventure Galley, 1698 (William Kidd) - this is a full side view, with masts and rigging.
D: A two page cut-away of the Queen Anne's Revenge, 1718 (Edward Teach, `Blackbeard')
E: The Royal Fortune, 1722 (Bartholomew Roberts) - this is a full side view, with sails, etc.
F: `Blackbeard's Last Fight' - a full-page painting of Blackbeard's sloop Adventure pursued by two Royal Navy-crewed sloops, Ranger and Jane.
G: The Sloop Flying Dragon, 1719 (Edmund Condent) - a full-page side view, with sails etc.
There are also plenty of contemporary illustrations to support the text.
...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I LOVE THIS BOOK, I love the ships it shows and the stories and bits of piracy that are shared within its cover!Published 11 months ago by Christina
This is a really thin pamphlet (43 double sided pages, so basically 22 pages of material). Wish there was more for what this cost to buy.Published 11 months ago by James B. Strickler II
A lot of good information beyond pirate ships, helping me understand what sailing vessels were available in that era. Research for a book I'm writing led me to this purchase. Read morePublished 14 months ago by An avid reader
This really tells it like it was for Pirates! The explanations are clear and the pictures are wonderful. I learned a lot and my daugher is fascinated.Published on April 30, 2014 by Peter Hickman