Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Pirates: The Golden Age of Piracy by Hourly History – Book Review

This book from the Hourly History series deals with the Golden Age of Piracy during the Seventeenth century. Pirates have been had a cult following owing to films such as Pirates of the Caribbean and Captain Jack Sparrow but very few people are actually aware of what was the lifestyle that pirates went through.

The book starts by explaining how piracy began, mainly in the Caribbean and yes; Pirates were people with a very dangerous life with very high income but a very short life and normally, most used to end up on the noose. However, the book talks about certain pirates who survived the noose and a successful subsequent political career such as Henry Morgan. It also talks about certain famous pirates such as Blackbeard and the origin of the flag of Jolly Roger. The book finally talks about Pirates in other parts of the world and present day piracy mainly in the Horn of Africa.

The book did touch upon a subject that is not very well known and yes, the fact as to how certain regimes used the pirates as sea mercenaries, especially, the English during the Spanish Armada. The book also mildly touched upon the lifestyle of pirates and yes, I liked it as to how the book also talked about the etymology of the term buccaneer and also about pirates in other parts of the world such as the Mughal Empire and the Ottoman Empire.

However, I felt that this book lacked a proper sequence and went back and forth in history during the Golden Age of Piracy and also the fact that some of the things popularised by pop culture was talked about very less, such as the Jolly Roger. I also found that the fact there was hardly a mention of one of the more famous pirates being Sir Francis Drake to be quite disappointing.

To conclude, I had mixed feelings about the book and on the whole, I would award the book a five on ten.

Rating - 5/10 

Have a nice day,


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