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A general history of the pyrates (Anglais)
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As a point of interest, I originally sought out this edition because it's the same one that David Cordingly used to write his excellent book Under the Black Flag. I highly recommend it for anyone seriously interested in piratology, history or literature.
For example the biography of Anne Bonny tells about her life and exploits as a pirate. But we also are treated to a description of the bedroom farce by which Anne's mother, a household servant, was discovered by the lady of the house to be having an affair with the man of the house. She caught the maid accidentally because of a prank involving spoons hidden in the bed sheets. This event doesn't take place during Anne's life. (It involves her conception, and leads into why her father left for the New World.) But really we are told about it because it is a good entertaining story.
So this book is highly readable and entertaining despite the language. This is a good book for you if you are into pirates, history, or the adventure genre (this book is factual, but it inspired many fictions).
I did like this book, even though after about the 200th captain's adventure its sort of repetitive narrative. The other interesting thing was that amid this culture of mayhem there was a strong democratic theme. Captains and bosun's are elected positions on most of the boats! Colonies elect a "governor", they have jury trials to settle disputes and yet the economy revolves around ripping off passing merchant boats.
As for whether "Captain Johnson" or "Daniel Defoe" wrote the text, I can't tell. But it doesn't matter, there are no copyright royalties to be paid to the author at this point. The stories are just as good. Anyone who is really interested in Pirates would enjoy this book. (Although I got my copy from the public library.) I especially found the history of Annie Bonny and Mary Reed to be absolute soap opera story. History is stranger than fiction.
(Oh and read Richard Zack's book on Captain Kidd, Defoe got it wrong, and Zack's found the original documents to explain what really happened.) Zack's book is easier to read too.