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About JamesG

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    Bilge Rat

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    Interests? History, politics, recondite information. Recent activities? Writing and directing nonfiction cable television (history and science shows). Just wrote & published a pirate novel.
  1. Privateer Percentage?

    A very big THANK YOU for that! Regarding monarchs -- I suppose I was thinking of the pirates who took the 1718 pardon and turned "law-abiding." If any of them served as privateers in the 1720 war against Spain, who would they turn over their 50% to?
  2. Privateer Percentage?

    While the usual dispersal of shares to a crew seems fairly well documented, I'd like to know what cut a privateer would get in the 1716-1722 period; if you were a pirate, took the King's Pardon, got a Letter of Marque, would you get 50% of whatever ship you took? 80%? Were there different rates between the Crown and private consortiums? What about expenses or overhead? Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks, James
  3. As the author of a somewhat (!!) fictionalized novel of Anne & Mary, I wish I'd seen this topic a few months before! I agree that the real facts could be legibly inscribed on one side of a napkin, but I wonder where some of these other ideas came from. JS1990--I think you mean "Fulford" rather than "Fulforn," which is another question...why that name? Where did that come from? Also, the newspaper article refers to "Bonn or Bonny," if memory serves, and I wonder about that, too...Was this just a case of someone not quite hearing right? The reason I ask THAT is...where did Woodes Rogers first hear of Anne? Also, it's interesting that Anne and Mary were listed as "spinsters" at their trial. It's quite possible that Mary didn't reveal her previous marriage (assuming that story is true, which I of course dearly hope it is), but Anne's running off from her lawful husband is part of the story...and could very well be true, so why wasn't that one of the charges? I think one of the fascinating aspects of their stories is that the hard evidence raises further questions.
  4. What are you reading right now ?

    Reading Seamus Heaney's translation of "Beowulf" and Tolkien's version of "Sigurd and Gudrun."
  5. The Beggar's Opera

    Gay wrote a sequel to "The Beggar's Opera" called "Polly." In it, Polly Peachum is transported to the West Indies and Macheath shows up as a pirate! You can download the text from, I think, Gutenberg, but it's a lot harder to find snippets and songs on YouTube. I'd pay to see a performance, though.
  6. What lured you to pyracy?

    AB-SO-LUTELY! :) And Roberts was a true horror -- unlike some others. I couldn't have written about Calico Jack and his crew if they'd actually left a trail of blood across the Caribbean. Because there's no record of Rackam killing anybody, I could deal with him. Most literary or cinematic pirates that I've come across did their worst pirating off-screen. ("Treasure Island," for example.) In "Captain Blood," the innocent blood spilled by Errol Flynn is never shown and only tangentally referred to. (An early example of the modern hero for whom many ill deeds may be excused by the reader if he feels bad about them.) And is there any actual piracy in any of the POTC films? I can't think of any. The depredations of the first film are, first of all, committed by cursed living skeletons, but aside from that, the whole idea is to RETURN the gold. I've never been a big fan of rock stars either, actually -- but, never-the-by, the 1715-1724 period became interesting to me when I learned that it wasn't just cops and robbers on the high seas, but a tangled situation with economic and moral conflicts.
  7. What lured you to pyracy?

    It's a question of degree, though. Even though if pirates caught a "cargo" of slaves they'd likely sell them rather than, say, return them safely to the shores of Cameroon, battling African slave traders upon landing and sending everyone home with a gift bag and a "Sorry fer the inconvenience" note, there was still a chance (a chance, mind you) for better treatment; and even if "Libertatia" was a hoax or fantasy, the notion of a radical commonality must have had some kernel of reality among some...Certainly if you had a middle-class Englishman in 1715 with two sons, one of whom went a-pirating and one of whom built up a thriving business in the slave trade, you know which one he'd be ashamed of.
  8. What lured you to pyracy?

    I'm a writer and director of nonfiction TV, and some years back I came across the story of Anne Bonny and Mary Read -- possibly in Sara Lorimar's "Booty." That started me researching the pirates of the 1714-1724 period. What kept my interest was what I'd never really known growing up: the democracy practiced on board pirate ships, along with the accident insurance provided -- in stark contrast to the British Navy policies of the time. Also, it seems that while the first anti-slavery sentiments may have arisen among the Quakers, the pirates of the West Indies (or some of them) were a close second. The fact that the "good guys" were protecting the growing slave trade is something that I only recently cottoned on to, joke intended...The moral turpitude of the time is breathtaking. Also of interest was the fact that, while some pirates were truly people to avoid at all costs (I don't see a lot of L'Ollonais re-enactors), folks like Blackbeard never actually killed anybody (except for that final battle which was, after all, a battle...) So it's all quite interesting, and I actually think that the Johnny Depp notion of the pirates as early rock & rollers obscures some of the truly radical anti-authoritarian aspects of the brethren of the coast. Some of this, and probably not enough, is in the serio-comic novel I finally wrote on my original inspirations, Bonny and Read: "The Legendary Adventures of the Pirate Queens," which you can find at the following link... http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=the+legendary+adventures+of+the+pirate+queens So that's what got me started...And who knows where it'll lead?
  9. Welcome aboard!

    All right then...A rumbustian is offered up as I introduce myself. My name's James Grant Goldin, and I've been writing and directing nonfiction television (History./ Discovery, that sort of thing) out in Southern California. I can actually see the Pacific from my window -- if I look just right between the houses. I've recently written a novel on Anne Bonny and Mary Read, "The Legendary Adventures of the Pirate Queens," available from Amazon.com in book and Kindle form. I suppose the "how I got interested" part of the autobio should be answered over in that section... Oh, and here, if I may, is the link to the book... http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=the+legendary+adventures+of+the+pirate+queens Thanks for allowing me aboard...