Pirates have scoured the Atlantic coast from the 15th century to the present day. Separating the myth from reality, author Dan Conlin explains how piracy came to Atlantic Canada from rival European empires who sought to conquer and settle North America.
Through the "Golden Age" of piracy, bands of raiders included Peter Easton, the "King of Pirates," the notorious Bartholomew Roberts and the vicious Ned Low, who raided the rich fishing grounds and secure harbours of Newfoundland for their ample supplies, manpower and ships. After a period of time in the 17th century when piracy was rare and defences were weakened, pockets of piracy sprung up in China and the Caribbean, as well as from shipboard mutinies. Rich trade routes, poverty, political strife, corrupt governments and weak navies allowed for pirates "to declare war on the world." Their violence blossomed again in the late 20th century, and continues today.
This book is the story of true pirate lives and their echoes in folklore and popular culture. It exposes their surprisingly democratic codes, lavish dress, and extensive collections of weapons which are illustrated by full-colour photographs of rare museum and privately-owned artifacts.
Dan Conlin created a popular exhibit on pirates for the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and he has incorporated much of the research for that exhibit in this book.