A Pirate Life For Me!!!!!
Legends – The way of living of pirates inspired many legends and some figures like Hook in Du Barries’ Peter Pan or John Silver in R. L. Stevenson’s Treasure Island or Sinbad the Sailor are still alive in the reader’s imagination thanks to literature. Their ships were their homes. They were called schooners or galleys: schooners were small and fast, with two masts and galleys had three. The crew slept in the middle of the ship and the captain slept in the stern. Food, water, gunpowder, and of course treasure were in the hold. They spent most of their time on the deck. When they landed on an island they hunted animals and looked for fresh water. When the weather was nice the pirates usually repaired the damaged ropes, sails and the hull. In bad weather or when they were in search for another ship, they had many things to do. The pirates climbed the rigging to change the sails, prepared the cannon, and keep a lookout on the main mast. When they attacked another ship, pirates blocked the steering wheel of enemy ships with wooden wedges. Then they used hooks to board the ship. Their weapons were pistols, daggers and cutlasses, suited to hand-to-hand fighting. Pirates also used homemade weapons, like wine bottles filled with gunpowder or yellow sulphur to impede the visual. Usually the captured men surrendered without a fight. If the sailors resisted, their punishment was very cruel. One of the most famous ways to kill a prisoner was to make him Walk the Plank, but pirates preferred to throw their prisoners overboard. Besides, they buried their treasure in remote islands. As to their appearance, They sometimes have scars and battle wounds, rotten or missing teeth, a hook or wooden leg, The idea of the hook derives from the story of “Peter Pan”, however it was true that pirates could lose a hand in a battle. They usually substituted it and a hook was very simple to find on a ship. Parrots were probably associated with pirates because of the pirate Long-John Silver from Treasure Island who had a parrot for a pet. Also the Peg legs probably derive from Hollywood and film making industry. However this myth is again quite true, because if a pirate’s leg had to be amputated the operation was usually made by the ship’s cook. Then a substitute leg was necessary and they had to use the material aboard the ship, for example, a long piece of wood. The eye patch refers to the Arab pirate Rahmah ibn Jabir al-Jalahimah who wore it after losing an eye in battle in the 18th century. In films, books, cartoons, and toys, pirates often have an appearance that represents their adventurous lifestyle. They usually wear 17th or 18th century clothes, a bandana or a feathered tricorne. They speak English in a particular old accent. Space pirates are science fiction character archetypes who operate in outer space, rather than sailing the sea. As traditional seafaring pirates target sailing ships, space pirates capture and plunder spaceships for cargo, money, and occasionally they steal the ship itself. However, their dress and speech corresponds to the particular author’s vision of the future. In the 1990s, the International Talk Like a Pirate Day invented a parody holiday on September 19. during this day people “let out their inner pirate” and they dress and speak as pirates
History – The history of piracy starts in 500 BC, the time of ancient Greece and Rome, when pirates sailed the Mediterranean Sea and attacked the cargo ships. Also Julius Caesar, at the age of 25, was captured by Cilician pirates and was a prisoner on an Dodecanese islet*. Back in Rome, he sent a fleet to catch and kill the pirates. Most of the pirates in the Mediterranean Sea were called corsairs. They were Muslims and they mainly predate Christian ships. Usually they were not after treasures or ships, but after people. They took rich people for ransom, sold them as slaves or also forced them to work on their galleys. In 846 Muslim raiders sacked Rome and damaged the Vatican. Piracy was practiced also in Northern Europe. In particular during the Middle Ages the Vikings travelled across the North Sea and invaded Britain. Their ships were fast and long , with a flat-bottom to travel up river and attack inland villages. Also Saint Patrick was captured and enslaved by Irish pirates. In the first half of the 7th century, in Italy, Venice was often raided by a Slavic tribe from Pagania, a land between Dalmatia and Zachlumia. They were known as the Narentines, and raided Venetian traders coming back from the southern coasts, sometimes together with the Arabs. The fight continued during the 10th-11th centuries. After the discovery of America, pirates began to travel in the Caribbean Sea, the Spanish Domain. These pirates attacked merchant ships, the galleons, which were quite large, slow and heavy and carried enormous treasures. The first headquarter of the pirates was the small, rocky island of Tortuga because it had a protected harbour. There the pirates built a big armed fort with 24 cannons. Afterwards, the pirates repaired in Port Royal, a British possession with a lively night. The British usually did not interfere in the lives of the pirates. Unfortunately for the pirates, in 1692, an earthquake and a giant wave destroyed Port Royal. Soon the situation changed: the Europeans, fed up with raids and destructions, built bigger, faster and stronger steam ships. The pirates could not take them. It was the end of that form of piracy. When the British captured the pirates, they sent them to prison in England or pardoned them. Usually the younger ones got pardon if they accepted certain terms. Instead the condemned pirates were hanged in the first American port and their bodies were shown in cages. However, piracy still continues today. Modern day pirates use high-tech equipment like speed boats, automatic rifles, and machine guns. They use computers and contact each other with radios. In the middle of the night they climb ropes to get on to the deck and take all of the treasure. Then they go back into their boats and disappear into the darkness.
Piracy in India – There are also some records on Vedas book about Piracy in India. However the most interesting one is when the issue of piracy was utilized as a excuse for war. Invasion of Sindh, In the seventh century the new kingdom of Hajjaz wanted to expand Arab domination over India especially Sindh. The Arab Caliph of Baghdad was in search of an excuse to invade India. The excuse taken was that a ship enroute from Sri Lanka to Baghdad was carrying among valuables some slave girls was looted off Debal. The Caliph demanded compensation and the King Dahir of Sindh rightfully denied as the pirates were not in his control. This became an excuse for war between Arabs and Sindh. Since the 14th century the Deccan (Southern Peninsular region of India) was divided into two entities: on the one side stood the Muslim-ruled Bahmani Sultanate, and on the other stood the Hindu kings rallied around the Vijayanagara Empire. Continuous wars demanded frequent resupplies of fresh horses, which were imported through sea routes from Persia and Africa. This trade was subjected to frequent raids by thriving bands of pirates based in the coastal cities of Western India. One of such was Timoji, who operated off Anjadip Island both as a privateer (by seizing horse traders, that he rendered to the raja of Honavar) and as a pirate who attacked the Kerala merchant fleets that traded pepper with Gujarat.
The Golden Age of Piracy – The Elizabethan Age and the 17th century were periods of discoveries and adventures. The famous English Navy had started trading with the western Indies and brave mariners sailed towards new countries. Brave mariners, but not only …… The years between 1620 and 1720 are called the Golden Age of Piracy. There were different types of pirates, depending on their relationship with the government.
The Privateers were legal pirates authorised by their government to attack and rob ships of enemy nations. A key distinction between a Merchant and Privateer, is the privateer was not paid by the nation or company, but paid by taking spoils from ships or properties they attacked. They shared their profits with the government. They also had ‘letters of marque’, documents that legalized their robberies on enemy ships. If captured, the enemies did not consider them as pirates and did not condemn them to death. Most of the time, the nations, especially England, employed privateers in acts of war and they fought England’s enemies for King and Country. Sir Francis Drake was England’s most famous privateer. He attacked Spanish ships from the new world in the sixteenth century and shared the treasures with Queen Elizabeth I. Most European nations abolished Privateering in 1856 Declaration of Paris, only Spain and the United States continued to use privateers until 1908.
The Buccaneers were mainly French sailors that left the hard discipline of ships to settle in the numerous small islands of the Caribbean. They soon became privateers for the English government. One of the most famous English buccaneer was Admiral Sir Henry Morgan who worked at the service of the governor of Jamaica and later became lieutenant governor of the island.
The Corsairs were Muslim (Barbary Corsairs) or Christian (Maltese Corsairs), pirates who operated in the Mediterranean authorized by their governments. Corsaire was also the term used by the French for what in English was a privateer.
Filibusters were the French pirates (or privateers) in the Caribbean who attacked mainly Spanish ships, towns or property. They often worked with the buccaneers in the last half of the 17th century.
Marooners – or runaways – were sailors escaped from the cruel Spanish navy or black slaves brought to the Americas by Spain that escaped and joined the pirates of the coast (Cimmaron Negroes). The most famous of these Marooned men was the privateer Alexander Selkirk, the inspiration for Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe.
The Picaroon (term coined in 1830s) was a pirate and a slaver: in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, when the slave trade was a lucrative business, some pirates became slavers, others sold slaves captured from the merchant ships to the American colonies. John Hawkins (1532-95) was the first English privateer to start this business. In 1562 he made the first of three voyages as a slaver. He sailed from England to West Africa, loaded 3000 slaves and sold them on the island of Hispaniola. The pirate captains in the Caribbean welcomed fugitive slaves, that preferred joining a pirate ship than living on the plantations as a slave.
Legendary Pirates …. In popular culture pirates live on their ships: they do not have a house of their own. They usually wear long hair tied into braids or shave their heads totally to avoid lice and bugs. Most of them wear earrings: it is a sign they have survived a shipwreck and if they die they can pay for their funeral. The ship is characterized by their flag, the Jolly Roger: a white skulls and two white crossed bones on a black background.
Francis Drake was born in Devonshire between 1541 and 1543. He had a poor childhood and at the age of 13 went to sea. Over the next few years he proved to be an excellent sailor and soon was rewarded with two ships of his own. Drake was given permission to attack England’s enemy, the Spanish, wherever they could be found. He plundered Spanish ships and towns and after his audacious attack on Panama city, he was the first Englishman to see the Pacific Ocean. After a brief period of peace between Spain and England, Drake returned to the seas in his new flagship, the Golden Hind. He entered the Pacific Ocean and sailed up the coast of south America attacking Spanish ships along the way. When his fleet returned to Plymouth harbour in 1580 the ships were loaded with Spanish gold. Queen Elizabeth I visited the Golden Hind and Drake was given a knighthood onboard the ship. He defeated the Spanish Armada burning the Spanish ships into the harbour of Calais. Drake last voyage was in 1596, but after catching a fever he died in the West Indies. His body was placed in a lead casket and he was buried at sea.
Sir Walter Raleigh (1552 –1618) was an English aristocrat, writer, poet, soldier, and explorer, famous for popularising tobacco in England. After spending a period in Ireland, Raleigh got Queen Elizabeth I’s favour who made him knight in 1585. He took part in the early English colonisation of Virginia and in 1591 he secretly married Elizabeth Throckmorton, one of the Queen’s ladies-in-waiting, without the Queen’s permission. In 1594 Raleigh heard of a “City of Gold” in South America and sailed to find it, publishing an account of his experiences in a book that contributed to the legend of “El Dorado.” After Queen Elizabeth died in 1603, Raleigh was imprisoned in the Tower, under the accusation of a plot against King James I. In 1616 he led a second expedition in search of El Dorado, but it was unsuccessful. He returned to England, where was executed to calm down the Spanish in 1618.
Edward Teach was born in Bristol in approximately 1680. he started his career as a pirate on captain Benjamin Hornigold’s ship in the Bahamas, then quickly acquired his own ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge, and from 1717 to 1718 became a fearless captain. He was a giant of a man with his beard twisted into plaits and burning fuses smoked in his hair. He was a terrifying sight with his bright crimson coat and it was not long before he became known as Blackbeard. In his ship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge, Blackbeard and his pirate gang attacked ships and towns along the coast of north America: once they held the town of Charleston to ransom! After two years of plundering Blackbeard felt he had enough treasure. King George of England granted him a royal pardon, but he made Blackbeard promise to stop attacking his ships. Blackbeard did not keep his promise and began to attack ships and plantations again. The king was very angry and sent his navy to hunt him down. In 1718 they found him hiding in his ship at Ocracoke Island in North Carolina. Creeping up on the revenge the king’s ships attacked and a terrible battle began. During the fight Blackbeard was shot 5 times and suffered 20 sword wounds before he died. He was quite different from the image of the traditional tyrannical pirate: he commanded his vessels in collaboration with his crew, and legends say he did not harm or kill his prisoners. Teach formed an alliance of pirates, and with his followers he created a sort of colony in the port of Charleston, South Carolina. To prove that he was dead Blackbeard’s head was cut of his body. He was finally killed by British lieutenant Robert Maynard at Ocracoke inlet, North Caroline, on November 22 1718. Legends tells us that when his headless corpse was thrown overboard it swam around the ship several times before finally vanishing. His reign of terror lasted for only 2 years, but everyone remembers the pirate Blackbeard! Curiosity: Blackbeard was said to have had 14 wives.
John Rackam (1682 –1720), was known as Calico Jack, because he used to wear a calico clothing. He was an English pirate captain who sailed around the Bahamas during the early 18th century, the Golden Age of piracy (from 1717–1720). He is very well known because he designed the Jolly Roger flag*, the famous flag of the pirate ships: a skull with crossed swords. The curiosity about him is that in his crew there were two women, a fact which was considered of a bad omen in his period. They were Mary Read and his lover Anne Bonny.
Mary Read and Anne Bonny – Nearly all pirates were men – with some notable exceptions. Mary Read and Anne Bonny were two women who disguised themselves as men and became pirates. They were better sailors than most of the men on their ships. Mary and Anne met when Mary’s ship attacked a merchant ship on which Anne was hiding. Together, the two women terrorized the Caribbean until they were captured near Jamaica in 1720.
Anne Bonney – Anne Bonney was born in Cork. Her father was a respectable attorney, who eloped to America with his own servant maid and their daughter Anne, leaving his lawful wife in England. There he started working as a merchant and then bought a large plantation. When his new wife died, his daughter Anne controlled his domestic affairs. Anne Bonney had a considerable fortune, and met many young men of respectable situations, but she followed her feelings, and married a young sailor without a shilling. Her father rejected her and Anne and her husband sailed for the island of Providence, to get an employment. There Anne Bonney fell in love with Captain Rackam and went to sea in men’s clothes to follow him. She had a child and then accompanied him again in his expeditions. She showed great courage and intrepidity. When the ship was captured, by Jonathan Barnet in 1720 Anne and Rackam were the last to leave the ship. Anne remained near Calico till he was hanged in November of the same year in Spanish Town, Jamaica. As she was pregnant, she was not executed and the pirate could visit her the day before his execution.
Mary Read – Mary Read was born in England. Her mother married a sailor when she was very young. He went to sea after the marriage and never returned. The fruit of that marriage was a lively boy. The woman went to live in the country, taking her boy along with her, but her son in a short time died. After the birth of Mary, her mother had economic difficulties. She knew that her husband’s mother was in good conditions, and presented Mary as her son, disguised in man’s clothes. The old woman gave her a crown per week for his support. The woman educated Mary as a boy. When Mary was an adult, she engaged on board as a man-of-war. Then Mary joined the army and fell in love with a handsome young Fleming. It became difficult to hide her sex; the comrade discovered she was a girl and they got married. Unfortunately her husband died, and. Mary took again her man’s dress and went on board a vessel to the West Indies. Her ship was captured by English pirates, but she was the only English person on board, so they let her go and she joined Captain Rogers on board his privateers. Soon Mary mutinied with other mariners and started a life as a pirate. She fell in love again with a very handsome young artist, and, in a duel, Mary killed a mariner who had challenged his beloved. At the time of her trial Mary was expecting a baby and she was not executed, but she fell sick and died.
Admiral Sir Henry Morgan (Harri Morgan in Welsh), (1635 –1688) was a Welsh Admiral and privateer, who made a name for activities in the Caribbean. He was one of the most notorious and successful privateers of all time; born in Wales, one of the most ruthless who worked in the Spanish Main.
Captain Kidd. – After leaving his native Scotland at a young age, William Kidd became a privateer. In 1695, king William III of Great Britain ordered Kidd to catch several pirates who were causing trouble in the Indian ocean and the red sea. After a year without capturing any new supplies, Kidd’s crew threatened to mutiny. To keep his crew from getting out of hand, Kidd captured and pillaged a small Indian merchant ship. Before long Kidd and his crew were robbing more ships than the pirates were! The king ordered Kidd arrested and in 1701 he was hanged in London.
Black Bart – Bartholomew Roberts, known as Black Bart, was one of the most successful pirates in history. In just 4 years, he robbed over 4000 ships. He sailed wherever there was treasure. Roberts in Wales in 1682 and became a pirate when another pirate captain took him prisoner. Besides his courage and shill, BB was known for his strictness on his ship. He made his crew stay quiet at night and held church services ob Sundays. He was killed in 1722 by British Captain Chaloner Ogle off the coast of West Africa.
Elizabeth and Raleigh – Sir WALTER RALEIGH was a favourite courtier of Queen Elizabeth. An old story tells us of the way he won her favour. One day, as the queen and her ladies were out walking, dressed in fine robes of silk and lace they came to a muddy pond in the road. The queen stopped disappointed, for she did not like getting her feet wet and dirty. As she was thinking how best to step through the mud, a young man in a rich suit came along the road. Directly he saw the queen, young Raleigh, for it was he, sprang forward, and, taking off his velvet cloak, spread it over the mud for her to walk upon. Elizabeth was much pleased; she rewarded Raleigh with a post in the palace.
There, one day, he wrote upon a window which he knew the queen would pass: “Fain would I climb, but that I fear to fall”. When Elizabeth saw this, she added these words: “If thy heart fail thee, climb not at all”. However, Raleigh did climb very soon to a high place, for he was clever and brave as well as polite, and he served the queen in many ways. It is said that his ships first brought potatoes and tobacco to England from America, and that he was the first man in this country to smoke. One day, a servant brought a jug of ale into the room where Raleigh was sitting and smoking. The man was much alarmed to see smoke coming from his master’s mouth, and he quickly emptied the jug of ale over Raleigh’s head, to put out the fire which he thought was burning within him.
Pirates in the kitchen
The food available during a voyage was a bit scarce and a bit rotten. Pirates could steal from other ships or land on islands to barbecue pigs and oxen. Also utensils were not properly used and most of the times pirates, seamen in general, used their “dirty” fingers. Food supplies consisted in meat, cheese, fresh vegetables, eggs and biscuits, biscuits never failed to be on a seaman table. But unfortunately, as you can imagine, the food slowly got rotten and diminished. For this reason they preferred taking dry beans, marinate food or salted food like salted meat. Chickens and cows were kept for eggs and milk until they were eaten or died. Famous among pirates were recipes with sea turtles and bone soup. Cooks were known to use a lot of herbs and spices to cover up the taste of spoiled ingredients.
Pirates and alcoholics
The alcoholic drink most associated with pirates is rum. Rum is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented molasses and its means of production are inexpensive. Water often went bad onboard ships, because of bacteria, and seamen (not only pirates) added a dram of rum to kill the rancid taste. This was called grog. It should be noted that Royal Navy Rum was a high quality. Also ale was available, but like water it could go bad and it was impossible to drink.
Officers and substitute often drank Port wine, a French wine which had become popular among the English during the war with France. Port is a wine fortified by adding grape brandy during the fermentation process and so it is more stable during temperature changes.
Note: Molasses derives from sugar cane. The word molasses comes from the Portuguese word melaço, which ultimately comes from mel, the Latin word for “honey”.
Rum, unfortunately, also caused the ruin of many pirate crews. In military and merchant ships the authorities checked the consume of rum; in a pirate ship, the code of discipline was quite weak and usually did not care about alcohol abuse. Stories say that many pirate ships were easily boarded because the mariners were too drunk to fight. One of the most famous example is the capture of the ship run by the notorious pirates Anne Bonney, Mary Reed, and Calico Jack Rackham.
Grog – The word grog refers to a variety of alcoholic drinks . The word originally referred to a drink made with water or a weak beer and rum, introduced into the Royal Navy by British Vice Admiral Edward Vernon on 21 August 1740. Modern versions of the drink are often made with hot or boiling water, and sometimes include lemon juice, lime juice, cinnamon or sugar to improve the taste.
Mix together :
1 part salted, pickled beef or pork.
1 part fresh goat, dog, rat, cat or seabird.
1 part pickled vegetables, eggs, anchovies.
1 part grapes, crab-apples, fresh fish, breadfruit, “spaghetti” and black banana.
Add tons of garlic, sugar, honey, salt, vinegar, oil, wine, cinnamon to taste.
Serve hot from the cauldron .
Garnish with stuffy croutons (and flaccid vegetables) .
Pirates in the library – There are many tales and legends about how pirates lived also thanks to stories and novels which described figures like Captain Hook in Peter Pan or John Silver in Treasure Island.
In the 1700s songs, plays, operas and novels were written about buccaneers, and during the nineteenth century storybook pirates were more famous than the real ones. Almost as soon as the world’s navies had made the oceans safe, people quickly began to forget the reality of piracy and many writers turned pirates into heroes. Byron (1788-1824) did much to create the myth of the romantic pirate hero in his poem ‘The Corsair’. However such books as Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island portrayed a more realistic view of pirates as villains.
18th century- The first main novel which popularized the subject of pirates was A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the most notorious Pyrates (1724) by Captain Charles Johnson, probably a pseudonym for Daniel Defoe, the author of famous Robinson Crusoe. It is the major source for the biographies of many notorious pirates of the Golden Age such as the English Blackbeard and Calico Jack, and supplies an extensive account of the period. Another example of this kind of novels is provided by The Life, Adventures and Piracies of the Famous Captain Singleton (1720), by Daniel Defoe. It follows the adventures of an Englishman, stolen from a rich family as a child and raised by some Gypsies. He decides to take the sea, crosses Africa and then becomes a pirate in the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea.
19th century – Adventurous lives and exotic lands could not but be sources for Romantic writers.
Walter Scott based his novel The Pirate (1821) on the life of John Gow named here Captain Cleveland. The story is set in the main island of Shetland.
Lord Byron’s The Corsair (1814) was a semi-autobiographical tale in verse divided into cantos. It tells the story of the corsair Conrad, rejected by society because of his actions and his fight against humanity, except women. The work inspired Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Il Corsaro; the overture Le Corsaire by Hector Berlioz and the ballet Le Corsaire by Marius Petipa.
Overseas, another Romantic, famous for his Gothicism and his way of creating suspense, was Edgar Allan Poe. The short story The Gold-Bug belongs his Tales of Ratiocination. The plot follows the adventure of three men on Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina. They have deciphered a secret message for a buried treasure.
In 1830 Lord Tennyson wrote The Kraken, a poem about the monster which attacked and frightened the mariners and the pirates in the sea. It appears in the film Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest ( 2006) and in Michael Crichton’s novel Pirate Latitudes (2009)
Below the thunders of the upper deep;
Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea,
His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee
About his shadowy sides: above him swell
Huge sponges of millennial growth and height;
And far away into the sickly light,
From many a wondrous grot and secret cell
Unnumbered and enormous polypi
Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green.
There hath he lain for ages and will lie
Battening upon huge sea-worms in his sleep,
Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;
Then once by man and angels to be seen,
In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.
The Coral Island (1857) is a novel written by Scottish juvenile fiction author R.M. Ballantyne during the peak of the British Empire.
Towards the end of the 19th century the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson wrote Treasure Island (1883) a tale of “pirates and buried gold”. The book introduced and popularised many of the characteristics and clichés now common to the genre and supplied a lot of material: pirates, treasure maps with an “X”, schooners, tropical islands, and one-legged seamen with parrots on their shoulders. The protagonist is Long John Silver, a mysterious old man who works as the ship’s cook on a voyage of buried treasure. With his crutch and his parrot, he has been the model for pirates in hundreds of stories. another model is Captain Sharkey born from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s pen, the father of Sherlock Holmes. Sharkey is elegant, smart, very clever and with filmy blue eyes. which frighten every man he meets.
Late 19th century, 20th century – The Italian author Emilio Salgari created the character of Sandokan, a fictional pirate of the late nineteenth century, who first appeared in publication in 1883. Sandokan is the protagonist of eleven adventure novels and is known throughout the South China Sea as “The Tiger of Malaysia”.
Rafael Sabatini was a British writer of Italian origins who wrote novels of romance and adventure. His most famous work is Captain Blood (1922) which tells the adventures of Dr. Peter Blood, a clever Irish doctor who worked as a soldier and a sailor before practicing medicine. Captain Blood was so enormously successful that Sabatini wrote two additional novels featuring Peter Blood: Captain Blood Returns (1930) and The Fortunes of Captain Blood (1936). All the works were made into movies.
The Rover (1923) is the last complete novel by Joseph Conrad. The setting is the south of France, during the French Revolution, Napoleon’s rise to power, and the French-English struggle in the Mediterranean. The character Peyrol, first in the French navy then a pirate, tries to abandon his cruel life and takes refuge in an isolated building on the Giens Peninsula near Hyères, south of France.
Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up (1904) is a play by the Scottish playwright and novelist J. M. Barrie, while Peter and Wendy (1911) is the title of one of Barrie’s novels. Peter Pan, an easy-going little boy who can fly, lives his adventures on the island of Neverland where he is always fighting against the terrible pirate Captain Hook. The pirate, the villain of the story, wears a metal hook in place of the hand that Peter Pan cut off and threw to a crocodile. Hook and his pirates seek revenge on Peter Pan and his band of lost boys, and the crocodile follows hook in search of another snack.
Jamaica Inn (1936) was written by the English writer Daphne du Maurier. The story follows the actions of a group of murderous wreckers in Cornwall in 1820. They run ships ashore, kill the sailors and steal the goods transported. It was later made into an homonymous film by Alfred Hitchcock.
William Golding’s 1954 novel, Lord of the Flies, was written as a response to The Coral Island, which is referenced at the end of Golding’s story, when the naval officer says, “I know. Jolly good show. Like The Coral Island.”
The Princess Bride (1973), written by William Goldman, is a novel which combines elements of comedy, adventure, fantasy, romance and fairy tale. Later it was made into a film of the same name by Rob Reiner.
The Princess Bride is a 1973 novel written by William Goldman that combines elements of comedy, adventure, fantasy, romance and fairy tale. It was made into a film of the same name in 1987 by Rob Reiner, and an attempt to adapt it into a musical was made by Adam Guettel.
The Island (1979) by Peter Benchley follows the adventures of Blair Maynard, a divorced journalist in New York City, who decides to write a story about the mysterious disappearance of yachts and other small boats in the Caribbean. Together with her son she is captured by a band of pirates near the Caicos island chain and discovers a cruel traffic: the capture of children to make pirates of them. In 1980it was adapted into a film directed by Michael Ritchie.
In 1986 Foe Nobel laureate J. M. Coetzee published the novel Foe woven around the plot of Robinson Crusoe and written from the perspective of Susan Barton, a castaway who landed on the same island inhabited by “Cruso” and Friday as their adventures were already underway.
21st century – Bloody Jack (2002) is a historical novel by L.A. Meyer centred on an orphaned girl Mary Faber, struggling to survive on the streets of London with the other orphaned children, led by a clever adolescent named Rooster Charlie. When Charlie is killed, Mary takes his clothes to hide her identity as a girl. She soon finds a position as a ship’s boy on the HMS Dolphin under the name of “Jack” . She becomes famous as Bloody Jack after shooting a pirate who was about to kill one of her shipmates.
The story is a series which include Curse of the Blue Tattoo, Under the Jolly Roger, In the Belly of the Bloodhound, Mississippi Jack, My Bonny Light Horseman, and Rapture of the Deep.
The Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists (2004) is the first in the series of books by Gideon Defoe dealing with an unlucky crew of pirates. Set in 1837 it tells the adventures of “The Pirate Captain” and his crew of non-orthodox pirates. They also meet a young Charles Darwin and help him defeat his enemies.
The Piratica Series is a series (2004, 2006, 2007) of fantasy novels by Tanith Lee. The protagonist is Artemesia Fitz-Willoghby Weatherhouse who escapes from the Angels Academy for Young Maidens, dresses in boy’s clothes and changes her name to “Art Blastside”. Determined to return to her previous life, she gets together a crew and sets out to sea under the pseudonymous of Piratica, the stage name of her mother.
The Tenth Gift (2008) by Jane Johnson is about Julia Lovat who receives a book of the 17th-century. It contains some entries taken from the diary of Cat Tregenna, an embroideress, stolen out of a Cornish church together with other women in 1625 by Muslim pirates and taken on a brutal voyage to Morocco to be sold as slaves. Julia leaves for North Africa to determine the authenticity of the book, discovers buried secrets and, like Cat four hundred years before, she loses her heart in Morocco.
Michael Chrichton wrote Pirate Latitudes in 2009, and it was his last published novel. The new work features a pirate named Hunter and the governor of Jamaica, and their plan to raid a Spanish treasure galleon.
Pirates at the cinema – As soon as the cinema stared its never-ending career, ships, pirates and fights on the sea attracted the attention of moviemakers for their spectacular appeal. The silent films The Sea Hawk (1924) directed by Frank Lloyd from Rafael Sabatini’s novel and The Black Pirate by Albert Parker (1926) are among the first most popular examples. They launched the career of stars like Errol Flynn and Douglas Fairbanks that became specialist of the adventure genre.
The Black Swam (1924), directed by Henry King, is about Sir Henry Morgan, who, named Governor of Jamaica in 1674, announces that the age of the pirate is over and asks his former captains to give up their ways and sail for England. Not everyone agrees and one in particular, Captain Leech, refuses. He does accept an offer however from English aristocrat Roger Ingram who provides him with sailing information in an attempt to unseat the newly appointed Governor. In an effort to thwart Ingram’s plans, former pirate Captain Jamie Waring kidnaps Lady Margaret Denby, the previous Governor’s daughter. The movies was re-proposed to the public in 1940.
The novels by Rafael Sabatini supplied other material for adventure on the sea movie: in 1935 appeared Captain Blood , directed by Michael Curtiz, and in 1942, The Black Swan by Henry King about the ill- famed captain Henry Morgan.
After World War 2 the pirate movies became less adventurous and more enjoyable even by children. Examples are the Walt Disney productions Treasure Island is a 1950 Disney film, adapted from the Robert Louis Stevenson’s homonymous novel and Blackbeard’s Ghost (1968) a fantasy comedy directed by Robert Stevenson and based on the novel of the same name written by Ben Stahl. The famous pirate’s ghost returns to our time .He has been cursed by his last wife, a notorious witch and only a good action can free him from the spell.
The Crimson Pirate is a 1952 adventure film directed by Robert Siodmak about Captain Vallo, the eponymous pirate and is set in the Caribbean late in the 18th century on the fictional islands of Cobra and San Pero.
The figure of Long John Silver of Treasure Island was protagonist also of an homonymous movie (1954) and of a TV series, The Adventures of Long John Silver (1954-55) shot in Australia.
Another trend was the female pirates, feminine and cruel at the same time: The adventure Anne of the Indies (1951) was based on the true life of pirate Anne Bonny an taken from the short story “Queen Anne Of The Indies” by Herbert Sass.
The pirates movie had a long stop during the sixties and the seventies, when detective stories and war films were more in fashion.
In the 80s pirates movies assumed other prospective and adapted to the public taste. They became more surreal, fantastic, far from the realistic vein of the first productions.
Examples are The Island (1980) The Goonies (1985). The former is a thriller film based on a homonymous novel by Peter Benchley. The story concerns a centuries old colony of savage and isolated pirates who sustain themselves by raiding pleasure boats in the Caribbean. The latter is a comedy film by Richard Donner, about a band of kids from the “Goon Docks” in Oregon. They hope to save their homes from demolition, and go in search for the buried treasure of One-Eyed Willy, a legendary 17th-century pirate.
The Pirate Movie is a 1982 musical and comedy film directed by Ken Annakin based on Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera The Pirates of Penzance. The story concerns Frederic aboy that has lived for 21 years with a band of tender-hearted pirates. He meets Mabel, and falls instantly in love. But unfortunately Frederic finds out, that he was born on February 29, and so, he only has a birthday every 4 years. so he must serve the pirates for another 63 years. Mabel promises to wait for him faithfully.
The Legend of Nathen Hayes, or Savage Islands (1983), is an exciting adventure film directed by Ferdinand Fairfax and set in the South Pacific in the late 19th century. It is the story of missionary Nathaniel Williamsen. He is going to an island with his fiancee Sophie on board of a ship captained by Bully Hayes, but Sophie is kidnapped by a slave trader.
Yellowbeard is a 1983 comedy film by Graham Chapman directed by Mel Damski. The pirate Yellowbeard, condemned to 140 in prison, escapes to get back his treasure
Pirates (1986) is an adventure-comedy film directed by Polanski. In the film Captain Red and his first mate, Frog find the golden throne of an Aztec king on a Spanish Galleon. They recruit a crew of cutthroats to win over the gold.
Cutthroat Island is a 1995 pirate-themed action film directed by Renny Harlin. The female pirate Morgan Adams and her educated slave, William Shaw are looking for the three parts of a treasure map hidden on the mysterious Cutthroat Island. To make things difficult, the last part of the map is in the hands of her villainous uncle, her crew is sceptical of her abilities and the Royal Navy from Jamaica is after her. The terrible commercial disaster of Cutthroat reduced Hollywood production of pirate-themed films, considered cursed by film makers. Only the production of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) gave a new appeal to this genre. Directed by Gore Verbinski, this is the first part of an action-adventure fantasy film, based on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney theme parks. Blacksmith Will Turner and pirate Captain Jack Sparrow save the kidnapped Elizabeth Swann from the cursed crew of the Black Pearl, captained by Hector Barbossa the following sequels are Dead Man’s Chest ( 2006), At World’s End (2007) and On Stranger Tides (2011).
In The Island (1980, directed by Michael Ritchie) the journalist Blair Maynard convinces his editor to travel to Florida to investigate the mysterious disappearance of ships in the Bermuda’s Triangle area. His son Justin follows him, but their plane crashes in an island and then they are attacked by pirates, captured and trapped in an island with pirates under the command of John David Nau.
Pirates of Treasure Island is based on R. L. Stevenson’s masterpiece and was shoyt in 2006 by Leigh Scott
Port Royal was a city located at the end of the Palisadoes at the mouth of the Kingston Harbour, in south-eastern Jamaica. Founded in 1518, it was the centre of shipping commerce in the Caribbean Sea during the latter half of the 17th century. It was destroyed by an earthquake in 1692 and subsequent fires, hurricanes, flooding, epidemics and another earthquake in 1907. Port Royal was once home to privateers employed to nip at superpower Habsburg Spain’s empire when smaller European powers dared not directly make war on Spain. As a port city, it was notorious for its gaudy displays of wealth and loose morals and was a popular homeport for the English and Dutch sponsored privateers to spend their treasure during the 17th century. When those governments abandoned the practice of issuing letters of marque against the Spanish treasure fleets and possessions in the later 16th century, many privateers turned pirate and used the city as their main base during the heyday of the Caribbean pirates in the 17th century. Pirates from around the world congregated at Port Royal coming from waters as far away as Madagascar. After the 1692 disaster, Port Royal’s commercial role was steadily taken over by the town (and later, city) of Kingston. Current plans for Port Royal will redevelop the small fishing town into a tourist destination serviced by cruise ships with archaeological findings at the heart of the attractions.
Rules -At first many pirates were sailors on merchant or naval ships. But life on a pirate ship appeared more attractive: they were independent of national laws, the captains treated their sailors much better than normal sailors and divided equally the prize money. Most sailors became pirates because they hoped to become rich.
When a man accepted to become a pirate was called ‘going on the account’. The sailors had to accept the rules of the ship. These rules were often strict. If a pirate broke one of them the punishments were flogging or even death. If a pirate stole from their comrades or left a battle the punishment was Marooning: their mates abandoned him on a desert island with insufficient food and drink. Most of them died.
The Pirate Codes – Pirates were free from people, and they saw themselves as free sailors. There was only one thing and one person who could restrict them from doing certain things. The person was their captain and the other was a set of rules or codes. The codes were the rules of the ships and they sometimes decided what punishment to give to a pirate for misbehaving. The codes varied from all the different ships, but they basically stayed the served the same purpose to keep the crew from doing anything wrong. Here are some general codes the crews had to follow:
Everyone shall obey orders.
Booty shall be shared as followed: 1 1/2 goes to the captain; 1 goes to ordinary sailors; and 1/4 shares goes to the gunner, boatswain, and master carpenter.
Anyone keeping a secret of attempting to desert will be marooned. He will be left with a flask of gunpowder, a bottle of water, and a gun with one bullet.
The punishment for hitting a man is 40 lashes on the bare back.
Anyone being lazy or failing to clean his weapons will lose his share of booty.
Everyone may vote on all important decisions.
Everyone may have a share of captured drink and fresh food.
Anyone found stealing from another member of the crew will have his ears and nose spilt open and be set ashore
Gambling with cards and money is forbidden.
The penalty for bringing a woman aboard in disguise is death.
No one may leave the crew until each man has made 1,100 pounds.
The compensation of losing a limb is 800 silver dollars.
Flags – Pirates used flags to frighten passing ship. The original pirate flags were blood red. Then the pirates started using different flags. The Jolly Roger, (a skull and crossbones) is the most famous. The origin of the pirate flag has been lost. Probably the pirates used a red flag, which was also common in naval warfare, to signal that no quarter would be given. This red flag was called Joli Rouge (pretty red) by the French, then corrupted into English as Jolly Roger. In contrast with the well known red flag, they used the black flag of quarantine and disease, with the universal symbol for death, the skull and bones, and modified it to suit their individual tastes. Another possibility is that Jolly Roger derived from ‘Old Roger’, a term for the Devil. That the “Jolly Roger” flag was called the “Old Roger” flag in 1723 supports this proposed origin.
Ships -Surprise was vital to a pirate attack. So they needed ships that permitted to navigate in low waters and hide in isolated bays. So the pirate ships were fast, powerful, and not very deep below the water.
Pirates in North America used schooners: they were fast, easily manoeuvred, but large enough to carry many guns and a large crew.
The Barbary Corsairs in the Mediterranean used galleys: long and narrow with a sail. During action, they used rows. At the oars there were slaves chained to benches.
The Chinese pirates used the junks. They had a flat bottom, three masts and sails held together with bamboo rods. The largest junks had twelve guns and carried rowing boats to raid coastal villages or board enemy ships.
Barque [Bark] – small ship with three masts, first two square rigged, the last mast being fore and aft rigged
Bertone – a broad, round sailing ship with three square rigged masts, able to carry about 60 crew, used in the Mediterranean in the 16th and 17th centuries
Brig – a two masted ship, square rigged on both masts, in the 18th century it would have been roughly the same as a Brigantine, but the two ship types showed more variance in the 19th century
Brigantine – the choice of many pirate crews, able to mount 10 cannon and carry 100 crew
Camara – narrow boats used in first century BC and earlier, holding 25-30 men
Caramusal – 16th to 19th century Turkish merchant ship, similar to a galleon, carrying four sails and a cargo capacity of up to 900 tons
Caravel – 14th to 17th century cargo ship, the Mediterranean version was lateen rigged on two masts, while the Spanish and Portuguese versions were three masted with the first two masts square rigged and the mizzen lateen rigged
Carrack – 16th to 17th century vessel, three masted with the first two square rigged and the mizzen lateen rigged, carrying up to 1,200 tons of cargo, larger than a caravel with higher forecastles and aft castles, used by the Spanish and Portuguese in their long voyages to the East Indies
Dau – identical to Mtepe, early predecessor of Dhow
Dhow – 150 to 200 ton merchant with a single lateen sail used by Arab pirates in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean
Dutch Flute – early 17th century ship, cheap to build, with large cargo hold, easy prey for pirates
Fellucca – a narrow ship of Arab origin, using a lateen sail or oars, deeper water versions would have had up to two masts and a deck
Flyboat – 16th to 19th century Dutch vessel, flat bottomed, one to two masts square rigged, carrying up to 600 tons of cargo
Frigate – name used for a variety of ships from small oared boats to three masted sailing ships, formalized by the English in the late 17th century to mean a vessel smaller than a ship of the line, carrying 24-38 guns on a single deck with three fully rigged masts, their speed made them better suited to convoy duty and hunting pirates.
Fuste [Fusta] – possibly developed from the Tartan it was a fast ship using both sail and oars, a favorite of the Barbary and Salï¿½ pirates
Galeota [Galiot, Galliot] – predecessor of the Xebec used one large lateen sail and oars, common in the Mediterranean
Galleass – similar to a Xebec, two to three lateen rigged masts, about 150 feet long, 25 feet wide with a single bank of oars, favoured by the Genoese and Venetians in 16th and 17th centuries (six in the Spanish Armada of 1588)
Galleon – favoured ship of the Spanish during the 16th through 18th centuries, 100-150 feet long, 40-50 feet wide, carrying about 600 tons (although some were bigger). Generally, three masted and square rigged with a lateen sail on the mizzenmast and two to three gun decks
Galley – any number of types of vessels used around the world, generally referring to ships with single or multiple banks of oars, originated in the Mediterranean, they were not rough water ships due to their length and low sides
Gallivat [Galleywat] – 18th century ship propelled by 40-80 oarsmen and 1-2 sails, used by the Angrian pirates in the Indian Ocean
Grab – 18th century Indian Ocean vessel, 150-300 ton, two masts, with long overhanging prow and oars, form of galley
Hemiola – 4th to 1st century BC vessel, galley with two banks of oars, name derives from the fact that the top bank of oars behind the mast could be swiftly removes (thus one and a half banks of oars),
Merchant – commercial vessel of the late 17th and early 18th century, not as big as an East Indiaman, this ship mounts 16 cannon
Naval Sloop – bigger and more heavily armed than a standard sloop, this ship would have been the equal of any pirate manned sloop
Naval Snow – comparable to a brigantine would have had a crew of 80 and mounted 8 cannon
Schooner – a fast ship with a shallow draft, capable of up to 11 knots, could carry up to 75 crew and mounted 8 cannon and 4 swivel guns
Sloop – another fast ship, capable of up to 11 knots, could carry up to 75 crew and mounted 14 cannon
Xebec – three masted, square rigged on foremast, and lateen on main and mizzen, shallow draft, frequently used by 18th and 19th century corsairs in the Mediterranean
Attacks – Pirates blocked the steering wheel of enemy ships with wooden wedges. Then they used hooks to board the ship. Their weapons were pistols, daggers and cutlasses, suited to hand-to-hand fighting. Pirates also used homemade weapons, like wine bottles filled with gunpowder or yellow sulphur to impede the visual. On the other hands, the merchants attacked, tried to stop the pirates with grease, dried peas or broken glass on the decks. At the end of a battle the pirates showed no pity: most of the times they killed the sailors or took them as slaves and robbed all the treasure or goods of the ship.
The punishment for piracy was death by public hanging. The corpse then was shown in an iron cage and the relatives could not bury it. Pirate William Kidd ‘s corpse was exposed for three years as a warning to seamen and pirates.
The Declaration of Paris (1856) signed by the majority of maritime nations and the anti-slavery operations helped to end Organised piracy and privateering Also the steam engine helped to stop piracy: the new ship sailed without wind and at great speed, while pirate still used sails .
Many a privateer became pirates when they continued to stay on the account during a time when England decided to be at peace with Spain. They did not attack ship belonging to England because they were pirates but not traitors. In reality, they hoped the Britich could give them safe harbor or passage. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t.
Pirate slang – The language pirates used is very colourful and has many strange words, some of them are funny. Here is a list of them with the …translation into current English
Monkey Jacket, Poop deck, or Futtock Shrouds without a grin or a chuckle.
All Hands Hoay! – or All Hands on Deck!: it means that everyone on the ship must go on the deck usually for action
Avast – or Avast Ye! from the Dutch term for ‘hold fast’ : it means Stop and pay attention. A similar sentence is Get a load of this.
Black Spot – a black spot or mark on a piece of paper means death
Dance the Hempen Jig – it means to hang, (rope was often made of hemp fibres)
Go on Account – it means go into business
Hempen Halter- it refers to the hangman’s noose (rope)
Hornswaggle – it means to trick or defraud, often of money or possessions
Shiver me timbers! – or Blow me down!, is an expression of shock or disbelief like My God!
Abaft – it is a word derived from the old English ‘on or to the aft’; it means towards the back end of the boat
Binnacle – from the Latin word for ‘dwelling place’; it is a box or case with the compass upon the deck.
Cackle Fruit – chicken eggs
Coaming – A vertical border to keep any water on deck from entering below it,
Duffle – it is the nickname for the bag which a sailor possesses
Fo’c’s’le – it is an abbreviation for forcastle, the front part of the ship
Head – it is the marine toilet, a hole cut in the decking at the head of the ship
Holystone – these are bars of sandstone used to clean the decks: ehrn the sailors wash the ship they kneel as they are praying .
Jacob’s Ladder – it is the rope ladder used to climb aboard the ship
Mizzen – it is the third mast
Monkey – it is a small cannon
Monkey Jacket – it is a short waist jacket worn by some sailors
Orlop – it is the deck for stowing ropes
Poop Deck – it is the deck above the Captain’s cabin
Salmagundi – A popular dish of chopped meat, eggs, anchovies, onions, grapes, cabbage or herring, seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, oil, vinegar
Cockswain –he is the Captain’s attendant and/or the helmsman
Drivelswigger – he is one who reads about nautical terms too much
Flibustier- it is a term the French gave pirates of the Golden Age
Freebooter – it comes from the Dutch for ‘free’ and ‘plunder’, reference to a pirate
Jack Tar – or Joe Blow or John Q. Public – it is the name given to early sailor’s clothing which were covered by tar, to protect from sword blows and from water.
Landlubber – ‘lubber’ means refers to a big, slow, clumsy person; they are those persons on ship who are not very skilled, as if to say, “You were no better on the land.”
Picaroon – it was a Spanish word for rascal,
Powder Monkey – it is a young pirate, usually a gunner’s assistant
Black Jack – large drinking cups made of leather, stiffer with an application of tar
Bumboo – a drink of the West Indies made with watered rum and flavored with sugar and nutmeg
Grog – comes form from the nickname of a British admiral; it is a mix of water and rum;
Robinson Crusoe (1719), by Daniel Defoe, is just the story of a trader who shipwrecks on a far away island near Venezuela. Here he spends 28 years. The novel was probably influenced by the real story of a Scottish sailor, Alexander Selkirk, who lived four years on the Pacific island called Más a Tierra, now Robinson Crusoe Island, near Chile. The British author was influenced also by Robert Knox’s story of his kidnap by the King of Ceylon in 1659 in An Historical Account of the Island Ceylon. The details of Crusoe’s island were probably based on the Caribbean island of Tobago.
Daniel Defoe also wrote A General History of the Pyrates (1724) and The Life, Adventures and Piracies of the Famous Captain Singleton (1720). The former represents the major source of information about piracy in the early 18th century. Defoe recounts the daring and bloody deeds of such outlaws as Edward Teach (alias Blackbeard), Captain Kidd, Mary Read, Anne Bonny and many others. The Life, Adventures and Piracies of the Famous Captain Singleton is about an English boy from a wealthy family, who, after being stolen by some gypsies, runs away and joins a ship crew. Daniel Defoe’s diary is a narration of the journey of the man in Africa: he illustrates the tribes he meets and the welcome given to white people in the different areas of this new, big and rich continent. Then the boy becomes a pirate, but Defoe goes on describing him more as a merchant adventurer than a real sea dog. The work may be is not a real example of novel writing and it does not involve the reader emotively. But surely it is interesting: Defoe indulges on the economic and logistic aspects of life of merchants and succeed in giving a portrait of the mercantilism in his times.
The Coral Island (1857) is a novel written by Scottish juvenile fiction author R.M. Ballantyne during the peak of the British Empire. It was voted as one of the top twenty Scottish novels in the 2006 15th International World Wide Web Conference. Three boys, fifteen-year-old Ralph Rover (the narrator), eighteen-year-old Jack Martin, and fourteen-year-old Peterkin Gay, are the sole survivors of a shipwreck on the coral reef of a large but uninhabited Polynesian island. At first their life on the island is idyllic; food, in the shape of fruits, fish and wild pigs, is plentiful, and using their only possessions, a broken telescope, an iron-bound oar and a small axe, they fashion a shelter and even construct a small boat. Their first contact with other people comes after several months when they observe two large outrigger canoes land on the beach. The two groups are engaged in battle and the three boys intervene to successfully defeat the attacking party, earning the gratitude of the chief Tararo. The Polynesians leave and the three boys are alone once more. Then more unwelcome visitors arrive in the shape of pirates, who make a living trading or stealing sandalwood. The three boys conceal themselves in a hidden cave, but Ralph is captured when he sets out to see if the pirates have left and is taken aboard the pirate schooner. Ralph strikes up an unexpected friendship with one of the pirates, “Bloody Bill”, and when they call at an island to trade for more wood he meets Tararo again. On the island, he sees all facets of island life, including the popular sport of surfing, as well as the practices of killing babies, rape, and cannibalism.
Rising tension leads the inhabitants to attack the pirates, leaving only Ralph alive and Bloody Bill mortally wounded. However, they manage to make their escape in the schooner. After Bill dies, making a death-bed repentance for his evil life, Ralph manages to sail back to the Coral Island to be reunited with his friends. The three boys sail to the island of Mango, where a missionary has converted part of the population to Christianity. The boys find themselves in the middle of a conflict between the converted and non-converted islanders, and in attempting to intervene are made prisoners. They are released a month later after the arrival of another missionary, and the conversion of the remaining islanders. The “false gods” of Mango are consigned to the flames. The boys then set sail for home, older and wiser.
William Golding’s 1954 novel, Lord of the Flies, was written as a response to this book, which is referenced at the end of Golding’s story, when the naval officer says, “I know. Jolly good show. Like The Coral Island.” Golding, despite enjoying the book many times as a child, massively disagreed with the views that The Coral Island held, and Lord of the Flies depicts the English boys as savages themselves. The Coral Island is also mentioned within the first four chapters of Lord of the Flies, when one of the English school boys says “it will be an adventure story, like Treasure Island, Coral Island.”
The Mystery of the Black Jungle (1895) is the first of a series of exotic adventure novels written by Italian author Emilio Salgari, about the famous good hearted pirate Sandokan and set in the Black Jungle, a desolate place teeming with wild dangerous beasts. Yet it is among its dark forests and bamboo groves here that the renowned hunter Tremal-Naik makes his home. For years he has lived there in peace, quietly going about his trade until, one night, a strange apparition appears before him – a beautiful young woman that vanishes in an instant. Within days, strange music is heard in the jungle then one of his men is found dead without a mark upon his body. Determined to find some answers, the hunter sets off with his faithful servant Kammamuri, but as they head deeper into the jungles of the Sundarbans, they soon find their own lives at risk; a deadly new foe has been watching their every move, a foe that threatens all of British India.
Captain Sharkey and John Sparrow – Captain John Sparrow is going to England. He looks over the sea: his ship is in the Caribbean, where the ocean is haunted by pirates. In particular he scares Captain Sharkey. He finds a sailor on a boat, adrift, and takes him on board: he is a New Englander left alone on the boat without food and drink by the terrible pirate Sharkey after he had destroyed his ship and slaughtered the crew.
Approaching the port of Saint Kitty, one of the customer comes on board and tells him that the pirate has been captured and is going to be hanged the following day. Then he asks the captain to accept on board the governor of Saint Kitty, an unhealthy, weak, old man who wants to go back to England.
The governor is welcomed on board with the due respect and he feels soon at ease with the crew, in particular with the new Englander. And when they near the British coasts…
* PLUTARCO: Cesare, trascorso non molto tempo presso Nicomede, ed in seguito salpando, fu catturato, nei dintorni dell’isola di Farmacussa, ad opera dei pirati, che già allora dominavano il mare con grandi flotte ed immense navi. Dapprima, dunque, giacché gli fu richiesto da costoro un riscatto di venti talenti, egli li schernì, poiché non conoscevano colui che avevano catturato, pertanto egli in persona concordò che ne avrebbe consegnati loro cinquanta; in seguito inviò gli uomini che lo circondavano chi in una città chi in un’altra, per procurarsi dai propri beni di che pagare il riscatto. 38 giorni dopo, scherzava con molta baldanza, s’allenava in compagnia, trattava con familiarità coloro che lo stavano a sentire mentre recitava componimenti letterari ed alcuni versi, definiva senza riserve coloro che non l’ammiravano ignoranti e barbari, e -tra le risa- spesso minacciò di crocifiggerli. Ed essi si divertivano per questa sua schiettezza. Come fu giunto da Mileto il riscatto, ed – una volta consegnatolo- egli fu lasciato libero, dunque, caricate le navi, immediatamente salpò dal porto di Mileto, contro i pirati; così, avventatosi, al largo dell’isola, su di quelli, che attendevano all’ancora, sbaragliò i pirati, e li crocifisse tutti, come aveva spesso annunciato in precedenza, mentre a loro pareva scherzasse.