by Robert Louis Stevenson
You know the characters, from Long John Silver to Billy Bones, Jim to Captain Flint. You know the story. A treasure map, mutiny, and a timeless adventure. If you’ve never read Treasure Island do yourself a favor and do it immediately. It’s been the basis for pirate myths and legend for generations, all the way down to Black Sails. If you’re after a beautiful edition for your bookshelf, AbeBooks has a wide variety available.
by Rafael Sabatini
Captain Blood: His Odyssey is an adventure novel by Rafael Sabatini, originally published in 1922. An adventure novel with an unexpected hero, Captain Blood follows the unintended journey of chivalrous and well-educated gentleman Peter Blood, who without much choice was plunged into the world of piracy forcing him to leave his tranquil lifestyle behind.
by Michael Crichton
Published Posthumously, Pirate Latitudes is Michael Crichton's last published work. At times it feels unfinished and unpolished, but all throughout it feels like a passion project. The author loved this story and had fun telling it. And it comes across in the writing. Taking place in the 1660s Caribbean, Pirate latitudes begins in Port Royal and then follows a Buccaneer crew through an adventure you have to read. From magic to sword fights, ship battles to sea monsters, this book has it all.
|On Stranger Tides|
by Tim Powers
The remarkable Tim Powers brings us pirate adventure with a dazzling difference. On Stranger Tides features Blackbeard, ghosts, voodoo, zombies, the fable Fountain of Youth…and more swashbuckling action than you could shake a cutlass at, as reluctant buccaneer John Shandy braves all manner of peril, natural and supernatural, to rescue his ensorcelled love. Nominated for the Locus and World Fantasy Awards, On Stranger Tides is the book that inspired the motion picture Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides—non-stop, breathtaking fiction.
|A General History of the Robberies; Murders of the Most Notorious Pirates|
by Captain Charles Johnson
This is the number one must-read for any Pirate enthusiast. Penned by an otherwise unknown Captain Charles Johnson the work was attributed to Daniel Defoe for decades until recent scholarship refuted the claim. The names and stories in this work are world famous and responsible for the worlds' obsession with Caribbean Pirates. It tells the stories of Henry Avery, Blackbeard, Stede Bonnet, Charles Vane, Calico Jack Rackham, Anne Bonny, Mary Read, Captain Kidd and many others. If you read one Pirate History in your life make it this one.
|Buccaneers of America|
by Alexander O. Exquemelin
A personal favorite, this book is part history, part memoir of a Dutch Medic on the crew of Captain Henry Morgan. His firsthand account of Morgan's raids on Granada, Porto Bello and Panama are unrivaled in the world of Pirate History. A must read for anyone interested in Tortuga, the Brethren of the Coast and Captain Morgan.
|The Republic of Pirates|
by Colin Woodard
This modern overview of the Golden Age of Piracy is spectacular. It opens with Queen Anne’s War and the royal navy then focuses in on two factions. One faction, politically minded, includes Benjamin Hornigold, Blackbeard and Sam Bellamy. The other, more violent and uncontrollable includes Henry Jennings, Charles Vane and the trio of Calico Jack, Mary Read & Anne Bonny. The Republic of Pirates tells of their rivalry and their shared goals of an independent pirate haven in Nassau. 10/10
|Villains of All Nations|
by Marcus Rediker
This book looks at piracy in the age of sail through the modern lenses of class struggle and equality. It has a thesis that is not without detractors, but the author provides a lot of convincing evidence. You might not agree with everything Rediker says but Villains of All Nations is definitely worth a read.
|The Pirates Pact|
by Douglas R. Burgess Jr.
The Pirates’ Pact looks at piracy from the Elizabethan Era through the end of the Golden Age, with an emphasis on direct government collusion with the “enemies of the human race.” Drake and Morgan were openly working for the crown, but Burgess – through unparalleled access to legal records in the UK and the Caribbean – shows us that while the crown might have officially decried the pirates they supported many of the world’s most infamous scallywags.
|The Invisible Hook|
by Peter T. Leeson
A play on the economic idea of the Invisible Hand, the author is an economist that looks at pirates and piracy with an economist's eye. He makes convincing arguments about the nature of pirates regarding The New World, capitalism, modern economics and even Democracy itself.
|Under the Black Flag|
by David Cordingly
David Cordingly is one of the most read and respected Pirate Historians writing today. Under the Black Flag gives us an overview of pirate history, but more importantly it looks at the myths that have built up around pirates over the centuries and the realities behind them. Curious about eye patches, shoulder parrots, plank walking, pieces of eight, hook hands or Captain Hook himself? This is the book for you.
|Pirates in the Age of Sail|
by Robert J. Antony
From the Norton Casebooks in History series, what sets this book apart is the wealth of original documents it contains. After a brief overview into the Buccaneers, Pirates of the Round, Golden Age Pirates of the Caribbean, Mediterranean Corsairs and South China Sea Pirates the majority of the book is comprised of primary sources. From Captain Kidd’s Royal Commission to testimony against Henry Avery, pirate codes, letters, journals and court documents. It’s less a narrative history and more a valuable resource.
|Pirates in Their Own Words|
by E.T. Fox
Pirates weren’t the most literate people, but even they occasionally wrote things down. For centuries to view any of the sources collected in this work you would have had to visit an archive or government collection. Pirates in Their Own Words is another invaluable collection of primary sources. Correspondence, ships’ logs, personal journals and written confessions from Pirates throughout the Golden Age and beyond.
|The Pirates Own Book|
Authentic Narratives of the Lives, Exploits and executions of the Most Celebrated Sea Robbers
In these delightfully melodramatic accounts, originally published in an extremely rare 1837 volume, you'll find true stories of the diabolical desperadoes who plundered ships on the high seas and murdered their passengers and crews. The stories — based on contemporary newspaper accounts, trial proceedings, and Admiralty records — describe in lurid detail the life, atrocities, and bloody death of the infamous Black Beard as well as the cold-blooded exploits of Jean Lafitte, Robert Kidd, Edward Low, Thomas White, Anne Bonney, Mary Read, and scores of other maritime marauders.
The first edition of The Pirates Own Book was published in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1837, and during the next 25 years it was followed by at least eight other editions. Today it is a rarity among collectors. Now available once again in this inexpensive edition, it will thrill lovers of drama on the high seas or any reader interested in the true-life adventures of the ruthless men and women who sailed under the black flag so long ago.
|Under the Black Flag: |
Exploits of the most Notorious Pirates
by Don C. Seitz
This work from 1925 covers many of the greatest pirates of all time. From Blackbeard & Ned Low to Black Sam Bellamy & Black Bart Roberts. It goes in-depth into the Pirates of the Round such as Captian Avery and William Kidd, their raids on the Mogul Empire and the short lived Pirate Nation established on Madagascar.