Jolly Roger – The Story of the Great Age of Piracy by Patrick Pringle - Vintage History Book Review
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum, me hearties! Is that a mermaid I sees on the horizon? Well, perhaps not: but those of us who adore Talk Like A Pirate Day, inspired by the terrific film Dodgeball and the piratical character Steve the Pirate, well, we can always pretend. (TLAPD is September 19th, pirate fans: ooh arrrrgh!) The Pirates of the Carribbean franchise has also added to the allure of the pirate in recent years: it’s not surprising that we’re all eager to celebrate Talk Like A Pirate Day and have a fascinated interest in all things piratical.
Buy Pirate Products On Amazon
However, the romance and cheeky charm of, say, Johnny Depp’s character Captain Jack, by no means tell the whole – or even an accurate – story of the real history of piracy. The subject of this book review - Jolly Roger – The Story of the Great Age of Piracy, by Patrick Pringle – may give you a clearer idea of the true experiences and activities of famous pirates – and their victims.
Pringle was not a university educated man, but he was something of a scholar and produced this tome full of pirate information and many other serious and respected (but also entertaining) works on criminal history. He was born in 1917 and worked at a publishing house prior to becoming a writer.
Jolly Roger examines the involvement of men and governments of many countries, including England, Spain, the ‘Moorish’ or Muslim countries, Jamaica and the U.S. in piracy historically. He notes that government approved piracy, or ‘privateering’ was widespread: a not uncommon example of governmental double standards, reflected in many ways in our own day.
Pringle studies the reasons why men chose to become pirates, and what their lives were like once they had done so. He does not flinch from examining the brutality involved in piracy, both for those engaged in it and for the denizens of the ships they took. Some of the tales are truly shocking and not to be attempted while eating a meal. One surprising point that Pringle brings up is the lack of authority of a pirate captain: while nominally in charge and with certain privileges, he had to stay on the right side of his men and accept a certain level of anarchy, or suffer the consequences. Perhaps this is not surprising given the difficulty of establishing authority within a lawless endeavour.
Certain famous pirates and privateers are given special attention by Pringle, e.g. Blackbeard and Sir Walter Raleigh. (Technically Raleigh didn’t qualify for the definition of a pirate, but some of his activities justified his inclusion in the book.)
The book itself has some lovely black and white plates and illustrations (although some of the subject matter is not so delightful and indeed very graphic and grim.) The dustjacket is in full colour and has a very gay and romantic illustration. When you’re busy celebrating Talk Like A Pirate Day, don’t forget to have a read through Patrick Pringle’s Jolly Roger, for a peek at the other side of the story.
Prime Piratical Links For You!
- Pirates Magazine
America's first full color pirate magazine
- Pirates of the Burning Sea » Home
Pirates of the Burning Sea™ is an MMORPG featuring high-seas action and adventure in a bold world of pirates and plunder. Set against the backdrop of the New World of the 18th century, players can choose one of three nations — England, France or Spai
- Piracy - latest on ships hijacked by pirates - Telegraph
Piracy on the high seas is becoming an ever more serious problem. The waters off Somalia and the Gulf of Aden are where ships and tankers face the greatest threat from pirates
- Strange Miniature Golf Courses - Pirates, Dinosaurs,...
These are the weirdest miniature golf courses you can imagine. They include monsters, a Rube Goldberg machine, a professional wrestler, 3-D glasses -- Even Heaven and Hell.
- Most Infamous Pirates in History
Despite having lived a century ago, these five well-known, nototious, ruthless pirates that ever existed including: Captain Henry Morgan, Pirate Anne Bonny, Calico Jack, Blackbeard, and Jean LaFitte.
- Pirates and Their Weapons: Through the Ages
Pirates were known for the great horror they caused. Much of this horror was done by the weapons they used. Here is a brief study of many of the weapons pirates chose to use from cannons to revolvers.
- Women Pirates, Female Pirates in History
Real women pirates from history, facts not fiction! Find out who they were and how they kept their secret aboard the pirate ships they served.
- Famous Pirate Flags
A description of the flags used by pirates during the Golden Age of Piracy. Symbols commonly seen on these flags are explained, and examples of flags flown by famous pirate captains are shown.