Cod Rotten Bandlesworth

GAOP Essential Reading List

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Tony, Ken, and a bunch of others (including Manuel Schonhorn) were working on collecting every English-language pirate trial from the golden age (not sure how they defined that) and editing the transcripts with heavy annotations and a lot of introductory matter, along with, I believe, associated documents. They were working on it for at least a decade before Tony's death and never seemed any nearer publication.

I know of several libraries that have a copy of Baer's collection, so if you need to look anything up in it then it should be available via inter-library loan.

Mr Bandlesworth, what tag did you go by on piratesinfo? You'll find several of the old gang here.

Greg, I'm editing Pirates in Their Own Words. I can't give you an exact date I'm afraid, but I'm hopeful it will be hitting the presses within a few weeks.

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It sounded like an interesting project, but if a decade passes with no visible progress, and with two of the major contributors passed on (and does anyone know if Schonhorn is still alive - he doesn't seem active in pirate history to say the least (though a search for him incidentally brought up a syllabus for Bialuschewski's pirate history class at Trent University)), I'll put money on it not seeing the light of day in print.

Yes, Baer's 4-volume collection is usually in the $500 area of cost - the reason is what I would describe as "targeted towards library reference sections." This is not intended for a shelf in a mainstream book store. With a limited printing, four hardcover books that have plenty of pages, and just being something for reference (it's not a story or even an argument to be defended) - that's why it's so much. So yes, either go with Ed's recommendation of Inter-Library loan or find a library that holds this collection.Though, according to WorldCat, 77 libraries in their collection hold it (which isn't a lot for WorldCat, 50 or so are U.S., 7 are UK, I think if you cover libraries that aren't in the database, you probably won't get past 200 libraries owning this). http://www.worldcat.org/title/british-piracy-in-the-golden-age-history-and-interpretation-1660-1730/oclc/82672379

You tease Ed, you and your 400+ page book full of transcriptions of pirate primary sources. Some people get eager over video game releases, this is my equivalent. Though I should be satisfied for now, I just got Appleby's Women and English Piracy, 1540-1720 (and I'm very happy with the conclusions made so far, and even the first page summary of piracy activity the book covers was surprisingly good and mentioned a couple of things that usually get glossed over in such a summary).

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Foxe, I had several names on piratesinfo, can't remember any of them. I read and observed more than I chatted.

Brit, thanks for the info. However, I think I may pull the trigger and buy it! What other good books have you read lately? Also, keep an eye out for The new book from forum member GregF - At the Point of a Cutlass

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I haven't read Appleby's latest, but his work is usually pretty sound and not too contentious (and my opinion has nothing to do with the fact that he's the first academic author to cite me as a reference in his footnotes :) )

Only 7 library copies in the UK? Golly! One of them happens to be my university library, so that's handy.

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Foxe, I had several names on piratesinfo, can't remember any of them. I read and observed more than I chatted.

Brit, thanks for the info. However, I think I may pull the trigger and buy it! What other good books have you read lately? Also, keep an eye out for The new book from forum member GregF - At the Point of a Cutlass

Well, for newer books, besides the last one I mentioned, I can't recommend the book on that last list I wrote (the one Mission linked on here), Neil Rennie's Treasure Neverland since it's great for showing how pirates got so clotted up with romanticism (even the "real history" parts). Besides that, still have to get to Honor Among Thieves (even though I've been told there are notable issues with it, but it still apparently has merits in the sources it finds); and after Foxe and a guy name Cobb revealed a pirate pop culture/literature reference book by George Fraser called The Pyrates, I've been reading that too.

Good for you being able to drop $500 on those books. I assume At the Point of a Cutlass is fiction?

I haven't read Appleby's latest, but his work is usually pretty sound and not too contentious (and my opinion has nothing to do with the fact that he's the first academic author to cite me as a reference in his footnotes :) )

Only 7 library copies in the UK? Golly! One of them happens to be my university library, so that's handy.

You're right. His conclusions seem quite balanced. For example, once I'm done reading this book and post my thoughts, I'll have to quote the paragraph about pirate sexuality - sums up the situation quite well. In which book did Appleby reference you (this one)?

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I assume At the Point of a Cutlass is fiction?

No, At the Point of a Cutlass isn't fiction -- it's true. Based on a rare manuscript from 1725, At the Point of a Cutlass uncovers the voyage of Philip Ashton -- a nineteen-year old fisherman who was captured by pirates, escaped on an uninhabited Caribbean island, and then miraculously arrived back home three years later to tell his incredible story.

http://www.gregflemming.com/

Greg

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No, in Under the Bloody Flag, which is a study of Tudor piracy. In fact, probably the best study of Tudor piracy I've read (which still has nothing to do with the fact that he cited me).

I'm not sure I'd describe Fraser's Pyrates as "pirate pop culture/literature reference book", it's a humorous romp of a novel. If you enjoy it then I cannot recommend highly enough his Flashman series (also, his war memoirs are very good, Quartered Safe Out Here, and post-war memoirs, The General Danced at Dawn.) Sorry, that's terribly off-topic of me, but I'm the moderator here, so live with it.

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... Based on a rare manuscript from 1725, At the Point of a Cutlass uncovers the voyage of Philip Ashton

You've been working from the manuscript version? Does it differ much (or at all) from the printed version?

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As far as I know, only the printed versions exist today. I used both the original edition of Ashton's Memorial printed in Boston (1725) and the London edition (1726). Other than the title page and one brief passage (a difference likely due to a typesetting error rather than a substantive change), the two versions are identical.

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I assume At the Point of a Cutlass is fiction?

No, At the Point of a Cutlass isn't fiction -- it's true. Based on a rare manuscript from 1725, At the Point of a Cutlass uncovers the voyage of Philip Ashton -- a nineteen-year old fisherman who was captured by pirates, escaped on an uninhabited Caribbean island, and then miraculously arrived back home three years later to tell his incredible story.

http://www.gregflemming.com/

Greg

I would not have expected that from the title. I know the account, what exactly did you do with it? Did you do what Kevin Duffus did with Blackbeard's history?

No, in Under the Bloody Flag, which is a study of Tudor piracy. In fact, probably the best study of Tudor piracy I've read (which still has nothing to do with the fact that he cited me).

I'm not sure I'd describe Fraser's Pyrates as "pirate pop culture/literature reference book", it's a humorous romp of a novel. If you enjoy it then I cannot recommend highly enough his Flashman series (also, his war memoirs are very good, Quartered Safe Out Here, and post-war memoirs, The General Danced at Dawn.) Sorry, that's terribly off-topic of me, but I'm the moderator here, so live with it.

"pirate pop culture/literature reference book" that's more a term for my own use. I couldn't think of a good way to describe a writing that is/was popular with some kind of notable public group. I just found it interesting to get recommendations from two notably different people in a discussion and that this fictional pirate writing never came to my attention. I read the first chapter and it's great because it's pretty much a satire of all the cliches, memes, and tropes of pirates in fiction (especially film it seems). Remember, not only do I research the history of the original pirates, but also the public perception of them (which they often get through film and written fiction) since even historians are influenced by them (as Neil Rennie pointed out in his book with historians interpreting the Anne Bonney and Mary Read history). When I researched the book, I also encountered the hilariously lucky coward Flashman as well.

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I assume At the Point of a Cutlass is fiction?

No, At the Point of a Cutlass isn't fiction -- it's true. Based on a rare manuscript from 1725, At the Point of a Cutlass uncovers the voyage of Philip Ashton -- a nineteen-year old fisherman who was captured by pirates, escaped on an uninhabited Caribbean island, and then miraculously arrived back home three years later to tell his incredible story.

http://www.gregflemming.com/

Greg

I would not have expected that from the title. I know the account, what exactly did you do with it? Did you do what Kevin Duffus did with Blackbeard's history?

Brit.,
I should pass your feedback about the title on to my publisher!
My book reconstructs the intertwined story of the captive Philip Ashton and the pirates he sailed with, who were led by Edward Low and Francis Spriggs. My research relies not only on Ashton's own account of his experience, but the narratives of several other captives who sailed with these pirates as well as trial records, newspaper accounts, and the logbooks of the Greyhound, the Mermaid, and the Diamond, all of which battled with the crews of Low and Spriggs. I also visited the island of Roatan, where Ashton was marooned for more than a year.
You can read more (including the Prologue), if you're interested, on my site: http://www.gregflemming.com/.

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As far as I know, only the printed versions exist today. I used both the original edition of Ashton's Memorial printed in Boston (1725) and the London edition (1726). Other than the title page and one brief passage (a difference likely due to a typesetting error rather than a substantive change), the two versions are identical.

Fair enough, I was quite surprised when you mentioned the manuscript as I didn't think it still existed. That makes much more sense now.

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Colin Woodard has a new article this month in Smithsonian about Blackbeard/Teach/Thatch...

Besides the fact that the title of the article, "The Last Days of Blackbeard," was not a particularly original idea, there are a few questionable statements. Woodard wrote: "Many intriguing questions remain unanswered—from the status of former slaves to the origins of principle figures like Blackbeard." There is absolutely no question that all 60 black men aboard the sloop Adventure were slaves—this can be proven through a number of deeds of Beaufort County, NC, and the Colonial Records of NC. On the other hand, there is no evidence that Black Beard built a home at Bath. Gov. Eden did not grant full salvage rights to the French ship a day after Black Beard made his midnight visit to Tobias Knight's house on Sep. 14—the Vice-Admiralty hearing took place at Bath on Sep. 24. Captain Ellis Brand did not lead a "contingent of armed men overland on horseback." A letter written by Captain George Gordon to the Lords of Admiralty on 14 Sep. 1721 stated that Brand "went by land a single gentleman, and a Servant to apprehend Thatch." When Maynard returned to Virginia, he took with him 15 suspected pirates (not 14), nine white and six black. Only five blacks were held for trial on Mar. 12, 1718/19 because by then, Caesar had been released. The forthcoming edition of my book reveals that Caesar returned to Bath, but also that he had been a slave residing at Bath since at least 1709.

Respectfully,

Kevin Duffus

author of the 2008 book, The Last Days of Black Beard the Pirate

Fourth edition to be released March 2014

Edited by LookingGlass

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Woodard states, also, in Republic of Pirates that Brand had a few armed sailors with him and that later he was joined by Maurice Moore and Edward Moseley. Woodard's source in that page of that departure in his notes is "Brand to the admiralty, 6 February 1719". That source was used by him at least to prove the time of the departure. Though he may be still wrong.

And as this thread is about books: What can you people say about Captain Kidd and the War against the Pirates by Robert C Ritchie?

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Colin Woodard has a new article this month in Smithsonian about Blackbeard/Teach/Thatch...

Besides the fact that the title of the article, "The Last Days of Blackbeard," was not a particularly original idea, there are a few questionable statements. Woodard wrote: "Many intriguing questions remain unanswered—from the status of former slaves to the origins of principle figures like Blackbeard." There is absolutely no question that all 60 black men aboard the sloop Adventure were slaves—this can be proven through a number of deeds of Beaufort County, NC, and the Colonial Records of NC. On the other hand, there is no evidence that Black Beard built a home at Bath. Gov. Eden did not grant full salvage rights to the French ship a day after Black Beard made his midnight visit to Tobias Knight's house on Sep. 14—the Vice-Admiralty hearing took place at Bath on Sep. 24. Captain Ellis Brand did not lead a "contingent of armed men overland on horseback." A letter written by Captain George Gordon to the Lords of Admiralty on 14 Sep. 1721 stated that Brand "went by land a single gentleman, and a Servant to apprehend Thatch." When Maynard returned to Virginia, he took with him 15 suspected pirates (not 14), nine white and six black. Only five blacks were held for trial on Mar. 12, 1718/19 because by then, Caesar had been released. The forthcoming edition of my book reveals that Caesar returned to Bath, but also that he had been a slave residing at Bath since at least 1709.

Respectfully,

Kevin Duffus

author of the 2008 book, The Last Days of Black Beard the Pirate

Fourth edition to be released March 2014

I knew you would provide interesting commentary to that article. How many changes have you made to your book by the way? I obtained a signed copy of your 2011 edition while in Raleigh, but would hate to miss additional information. Glad to hear that your book is doing well enough to warrant a fourth edition (by the odd chance, are you releasing another edition since interest in Blackbeard will be increased again this winter of 2014-2015 because of NBC?).

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Colin Woodard has a new article this month in Smithsonian about Blackbeard/Teach/Thatch...

Besides the fact that the title of the article, "The Last Days of Blackbeard," was not a particularly original idea, there are a few questionable statements. Woodard wrote: "Many intriguing questions remain unanswered—from the status of former slaves to the origins of principle figures like Blackbeard." There is absolutely no question that all 60 black men aboard the sloop Adventure were slaves—this can be proven through a number of deeds of Beaufort County, NC, and the Colonial Records of NC. On the other hand, there is no evidence that Black Beard built a home at Bath. Gov. Eden did not grant full salvage rights to the French ship a day after Black Beard made his midnight visit to Tobias Knight's house on Sep. 14—the Vice-Admiralty hearing took place at Bath on Sep. 24. Captain Ellis Brand did not lead a "contingent of armed men overland on horseback." A letter written by Captain George Gordon to the Lords of Admiralty on 14 Sep. 1721 stated that Brand "went by land a single gentleman, and a Servant to apprehend Thatch." When Maynard returned to Virginia, he took with him 15 suspected pirates (not 14), nine white and six black. Only five blacks were held for trial on Mar. 12, 1718/19 because by then, Caesar had been released. The forthcoming edition of my book reveals that Caesar returned to Bath, but also that he had been a slave residing at Bath since at least 1709.

Respectfully,

Kevin Duffus

author of the 2008 book, The Last Days of Black Beard the Pirate

Fourth edition to be released March 2014

are you releasing another edition since interest in Blackbeard will be increased again this winter of 2014-2015 because of NBC?).

No, I'm releasing a 4th edition because of my new research into the status and fates of black men on Black Beard's crew, and the identity and origins of Caesar. Also, the new edition includes the latest information regarding the disposition of the mortal remains of the pirate-cooper Edward Salter, who finally received the dignified burial he so wanted and deserved when his remains were interred in Oct. 2012 at St. Thomas Church at Bath, NC, the church he helped to build before his death in 1734/35.

I wouldn't say public interest in Blackbeard will necessarily be increased, but more likely confused and distorted. The NBC miniseries features a fictional Blackbeard, who according to the Crossbones website: In 1715, "the diabolical pirate Edward Teach, a.k.a. Blackbeard (John Malkovich), reigns over a rogue nation of thieves, outlaws and miscreant sailors." There is absolutely no evidence that Blackbeard, or Edward Thatch, or Teach, was a pirate in 1715. Contrary to the Smithsonian article, I've not found any primary source that identifies Thatch as a pirate prior to Matthew Musson's report to the British Board of Trade dated 5 July 1717. In fact, except for Benjamin Hornigold who was little more than a pirate in a canoe, I can't find any of the marquee names of Golden Age pirates in the official records prior to the Spanish Treasure Fleet disaster of late-July 1715.

Edited by LookingGlass

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Based on some discussions with someone at Crossbones about medical details, I don't think history is truly their major concern. But POTC4 sort of set the recent modern stage for taking Blackbeard out of the historic realm and bringing him into the fantastic one.

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"I don't think history is truly their major concern." Indeed. Yet still, the miniseries is promoted (in Smithsonian Magazine and elsewhere) as being based on Woodard's 2007 non-fiction book, The Republic of Pirates. Is that because the name Blackbeard appears in the book?

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From what I've heard, it's been reduced to "Inspired by the book The Republic of Pirates." This wouldn't be the first time a script or a book of any kind has it's rights purchased and Hollywood tears it apart and takes it quite far from it's original form practically to the point of being unrecognizable. Also, in the case of non-fiction, having a book that people know about will add a false sense of authority to the show (emphasize false, since anyone who does a little critical analysis will realize it doesn't mean a thing considering how far they are removing the show from the book's narrative). From what I've seen of the plot they are developing - it strangely sounds like they are ripping off either Hallmark's Blackbeard film or Robert Newton's 1952 Blackbeard the Pirate film (which I'm pretty sure Hallmark got heavy inspiration from). They've been doing crazing stuff with the Blackbeard story for a long time. The previously mentioned 1952 film pits Blackbeard against Sir Henry Morgan - who I'm not even sure were ever even alive at the same time, let alone sailed together at one point and turned into Morgan hunting down Blackbeard. You want to talk about confusing people? Add to that Blackbeard (who is played by Robert Newton, the inventor of the stereotypical pirate accent we know so well today) SPOILER, dies at the end by being buried by his own men in the sand at the beach up to his neck and drowning as the tide comes in.

Is it accurate to say that Blackbeard has become literature's, art's, and Hollywood's honey pot for pirate stories? Even though we have people like Kevin Duffus here trying their best to make the proper information available, a large number of people will always seem to want what Hollywood keeps on putting out.

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Aye, here's to Kevin Duffus! And much looking forward to the new edition - and seeing all y'all at Ocracoke in October!

yr mst hum and obt svt,

John

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At long last! The hardback edition of Pirates in Their Own Words is now available! 407 pages of original primary source material, mostly being published for the first time. Paperback edition on its way, hardback available here: http://www.lulu.com/shop/et-fox/pirates-in-their-own-words/hardcover/product-21700684.html

Thank you for your patience.

10463988_10154315446480029_4908225391309

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13871_10154317301800029_7042198739640461

The front cover, just because I like it.

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Nice cover!

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