Here are some fun facts about pirates. Since I’ve started this project I’ve developed a little bit of an obsession.
I ended up going to Borders and buying one of their many pirate-themed books in an effort to find out more. “Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates” seemed to fit the bill- it received pretty good reviews online.
So far I’ve just skimmed through some of the chapters, but I’ve already found out some interesting things!
A lot of the story elements in Treasure Island were actually really factual. Long John Silver as a cook totally made sense b/c it was common for the Royal Navy to hire a disabled seaman as the chef. Pirates also really did have parrots- they were fun pets and easy to sell.
A corsair was a pirate based in the Mediterranean. Buccaneers were pirates who ‘worked’ in the Caribbean and around the coast of South America. When I looked it up online- the first result for corsairs was a six person singing group from Texas that sings sea shanties at like, renaissance fairs. Interesting. Buccaneers turned up some football team from Tampa Bay.
There were only a few known women pirates over the years- Mary Read and Anne Bonny were among the most famous. An Irish pirate named Grace “Grany” O’Malley had several ballads written about her. One of the coolest ones was the Chinese pirate Mrs. Cheng, who started as a prostitute, married a pirate leader, and ended up leading a confederation which at one point had 50,000 pirates in it! Yikes!
It’s a pretty sweet book, you should get a copy!