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Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates

Howard Pyle

Book Overview: 

Swashbuckling tales of legendary pirates, buccaneers, and marooners, terrors of the Spanish Main

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Barnaby True was a good, honest, biddable lad, as boys go, but yet he was not ever allowed altogether to forget that his grandfather had been that very famous pirate, Capt. William Brand, who, after so many marvelous adventures (if one may believe the catchpenny stories and ballads that were written about him), was murdered in Jamaica by Capt. John Malyoe, the commander of his own consort, the Adventure galley.

It has never been denied, that ever I heard, that up to the time of Captain Brand's being commissioned against the South Sea pirates he had always been esteemed as honest, reputable a sea captain as could be.

When he started out upon that adventure it was with a ship,[40] the Royal Sovereign, fitted out by some of the most decent merchants of New York. The governor himself had subscribed to the adventure, and had himself signed Captain Brand's commission. So, if the unfortunate man went astray, he must have had great temptation to do so, many oth. . . Read More

Community Reviews

The two sections on history are informative, although not especially appealing, but the six stories are wonderful for those who are able to appreciate the vocabulary. At times Pyle is a bit redundant (how many times does one need to hear the word "doubtless" - the worst spate is the six times on...more

The Book of Pirates by Howard Pyle is exactly that: a book about pirates. It purports to be non-fiction and doubtless much of it is. But the author admits that some of the pirate lore has been embellished and/or made up along the way. Sometimes by the pirates and sometimes by the survivors. Writt...more

here is your formula for (almost) every piece of swashbuckling fiction, namely scarred pirate captains, roguish and witty surogates, forced romance and the triumph of the just and lawful citizen whose virtue is rewarded with oh-so-fairly-gained and definitely-not-tainted-by-piracy wealth.

While it starts off a little dry, the later stories are much more engaging (and very interesting after having read Under the Black Flag). One of the things I most enjoyed about this was the folk tale quality to each of the stories. (This was even more effective listening to it as an audiobook.) I...more

Howard Pyle's The Book of Pirates starts off like a non-fiction history of pirates, mainly of the Caribbean variety. It's not an absolutely enthralling history, but it does try to enliven the old stories, almost in the way that modern writers of history have managed.

After the introductory rundow...more

Here in lies the treasure of where we obtained all our fanciful concepts of "pirates" and "piracy." While these tales may not interest or entice the modern reader, as their pacing and action is lacking to modern taste, anyone could see how such tales and Pyle's unique illustrations directly influ...more

Slow to start, then a series of short stories the are decent enough.

An interesting read. I enjoyed reading some of the pirates' tales more than others, but that's usually the case in books with multiple tales to tell.

Characters: 5/10
Plot: 7/10
Writing: 9/10
Audio: 7/10
It's hard to rate a 100-year-old book by the same standards as a modern one. The short stories had little in the way of character development, and the plots were fairly straightforward, but they were enjoyable nonetheless. I don't know how much of...more

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