- Paperback: 670 pages
- Publisher: lulu.com (September 3, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 136532821X
- ISBN-13: 978-1365328213
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #701,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Quest for Blackbeard: The True Story of Edward Thache and His World Paperback – September 3, 2016
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From the Author
This book was the result of years of research following my discovery of Blackbeard's family history - a discovery that began, of all places, on Ancestry and especially Familysearch, online genealogical databases. I completed the journey with deeds and wills from Spanish Town, Jamaica, with the assistance of my friend, Dianne Golding-Frankson of GenealogyPlus Jamaica. For 300 years, we have searched for this information. Now, we finally know!
I am not the typical pirate historian and this book will show you why. For perhaps the first time, I reject the use of an old polemical work of historical fiction masquerading as actual history - Charles Johnson's (actually Nathaniel Mist's) "A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pyrates." In my research, I found many inconsistencies and outright lies associated with this book. The task has only just begun to retell pirate history from an unbiased perspective. Of course, I began with the most famous pirate of them all - Edward "Blackbeard" Thache!
Please come to my website at baylusbrooks.com and utilize my "Pirate Library" with biographies and a growing list of primary sources related to Blackbeard and piracy in general.
About the Author
Baylus C. Brooks is a graduate maritime historian and author from Florida.
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Living in NC, I really appreciate and enjoy the context of early NC, the contrasts to New England and the introduction (to me) of the syndicate in the south. I've not read a book on Blackbeard that has pulled me in so much.
You get a thorough background on the history and politics going on in the Caribbean that led to the rise of piracy in the area. You also get a look at how attitudes towards pirates were changed by the media and political leaders of the time. It also presents previously undiscovered ancestral information on Edward Teach.
What I especially liked about this book was that none of his sources are hidden. Everything presented here is fully documented and made available to the reader. Nothing is conjectured. Everything is backed by primary sources.
If you are looking for the “total picture” when it comes to Blackbeard, this is the book you want to read.
Brooks helps to reinforce the emerging theory among researchers that the Captain Johnson who wrote "A General History" was actually the 18th-century Jacobite printer and journalist, Nathaniel Mist. Mist's reputation is best understood by examining his "Weekly Journal" which was the most vocal and extreme resistance newspaper to emerge in opposition to the Hanoverian Whig takeover of the British parliament in 1715. Brooks explains how Mist, under the Johnson pseudonym, wrote "a General History" largely as an exploitation and/or propaganda narrative designed to appeal to the unique political sensibilities of his readers. As such, it has been wrong for researchers to use it blindly, as it has been, to define who Blackbeard was and how he should be understood in history.
In this regard, Brooks has done groundbreaking work in uncovering the true origins of Blackbeard. Unlike the image painted by Mist of a vulgar and brutal monster of low birth, Brooks has discovered through records he has brought to light found in St Catherine's Parish registries of Jamaica and Jamaican deed books as well as through genealogies compiled from wills kept by the Prerogative Court of Canterbury in England that Blackbeard, whose given name was Edward Thache, was actually from a minor aristocratic family who was not far removed from high level players in the political circles of his time - principally among them, the Lechmeres of Hanley Castle in Worcestershire who supported the 1st Whig Junto and who were, through marriage, connected to the Winthrops of Connecticut. Brooks has discovered that Thache began his career, surprisingly, as a well-respected mariner serving in the British Royal Navy aboard the HMS Windsor.
Put simply, Brooks has made a compelling case that Thache was perhaps more privateer than pirate, at least in his early days, with sympathies more aligned with the ousted Stewarts than with the ascendant Hanovers. These alignments appear to have led him onto the wrong side of history. It can be argued that he may have gotten caught in his own emerging reputation fostered by his own press along with the unstable politics of his age, a combination that led him into an outlaw career that he perhaps couldn't escape.
In all respects, Quest is a groundbreaking book. It offers much food for thought no matter what opinions the reader holds on the subject and, at a minimum, presents much newly discovered source material that makes the light of day for the first time in this work. These documents, by themselves, make the book worth purchasing. The well-conceived conclusions Brooks draws makes it invaluable. In all respects Quest for Blackbeard is well worth the read for all who are interested in the subject.