A General History of the Pyrates


A General History of the Pyrates

"A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the most notorious Pyrates" is a 1724 book containing biographies of contemporary pirates. Its author uses the name Captain Charles Johnson, generally considered a pseudonym.

The real name of the author is thought by some scholars to be Daniel Defoe, although this has been disputed. The publisher Nathaniel Mist or somebody working for him are other suggested authors. [cite web|url=http://www.thepirateking.com/books/books_ghp_review.htm|title=Book Review:A General History of the Pyrates|author=Rob Ossian|accessdate=2007-11-29|Publisher=The Pirate King]

The book was released in two volumes. The first mostly deals with early 18th century pirates, while volume II records the exploits of their predecessors a few decades earlier. In the first volume "Johnson" sticks fairly close to the available sources, though he embellishes the stories somewhat. He stretches the truth farther in the second volume, and includes the biographies of three subjects who may be entirely fictional. Nevertheless, the book was influential in shaping popular notions of piracy and provided the standard account of the lives of many individuals still famous in the 21st century.

The buccaneers profiled in volume I are Henry Avery, James Martel, Blackbeard, Stede Bonnet, Edward England, Charles Vane, Calico Jack Rackham, Mary Read, Anne Bonny, Howell Davis, Bartholomew ("Black Bart") Roberts, Thomas Anstis, Richard Worley, George Lowther, Edward Lowe, John Evans, Francis Spriggs, John Smith, John Gow, and Roche Braziliano.

Volume II features Thomas Tew, William Kidd, John Bowen, John Halsey, Thomas White, Thomas Howard, David Williams, Samuel Burgess, Nathaniel North, Christopher Condent, Samuel Bellamy, and William Fly, as well as biographies of the probably fictional captains James Misson, Lewis, and Cornelius.

Notes

References

*Cordingly, David. "Under the Black Flag: The Romance and Reality of Life Among the Pirates". New York: Harcourt Brace, 1995.
*Charles Johnson (1724), " [http://brian.carnell.com/archives/related_topics/History/Pirates/etexts/Charles_Johnson/A_General_History_of_the_Pyrates/index.html A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pyrates] ", a copy on the website of [http://brian.carnell.com/about/ Brian Carnell] (Copy is not on this website!)

Further reading

* [http://www.fortunecity.co.uk/amusement/golf/200/defoe.html Article comparing Johnson and Defoe]


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