If you’ve been keeping up with my blog recently, you’ll know that I’ve been sailing the seven seas quite often in the last few months – and I’ve been increasingly drawn to the adventures of pirates. What was piracy really like though, in the Caribbean and beyond?
Despite its somewhat fantastical and incredibly striking cover, depicting a Pirate ship being dragged down to the depths by a monstrous, tentacled, Kraken-esque beast, Pirates: Dead Men’s Tales – written by Ann Rooney and illustrated wonderfully by Joe Wilson – is a superb book that gives a great deal of insight into the history of piracy and the real life stories of famous figures such as the terrifying pirate Blackbeard.
Though aimed at children, the grim details of a life at sea during various ages of piracy isn’t watered down very much at all, with the harsh reality that faced slaves aboard pirate vessels, along with information on the gory end that many pirates met – including the aforementioned Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard – also included.
It’s bound in a nicely oversized format too; though relatively slender in terms of page count, an awful lot of information is included and it’s all presented in an accessible, easy to digest and often visually interesting way, with the colour scheme present on the cover repeated within the book. I particularly enjoyed the maps that noted battles and other major events at various points in history.
It’s a great book for readers of any age – I can’t recommend it enough. And it’s successfully made me realise that I definitely would not want to have been a pirate in real life.
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