Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates

Front Cover
Harcourt Brace, 1997 - Science - 296 pages
275 Reviews
"This is the most authoritative and highly literate account of these pernicious people that I have ever read." -- Patrick O'Brian

Pirates are so much a part of legend that it is easy to forget they actually existed. UNDER THE BLACK FLAG tells their story in a rollicking account of the golden age of piracy that is packed with history, anecdote, and above all adventure. Here are the true stories of such bloodthirsty legends as Blackbeard and Captain Kidd, Anne Bonny, and the fearsome Mary Read. And here are rousing descriptions of what ships pirates sailed, what punishments they exacted, what they really wore, and how they flourished--or perished. From the smoky havoc of shipboard battle to the loneliness of a fugitive's life at sea, this spellbinding narrative vividly brings the brutal world of pirates to life.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Interesting, but a bit repetitive at the end.

Review: Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates

User Review  - Goodreads

Some fascinating details about what life was actually like for pirates and those who hunted them down. For a revisionist, though, Cordingly can be incredibly insensitive to the plight of people who ... Read full review


Wooden Legs and Parrots
Plundering the Treasure Ports
Sir Henry Morgan

17 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1997)

David Cordingly was for twelve years on the staff of the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England, where he was curator of paintings and then head of exhibitions. He is a graduate of Oxford. He lives with his wife and family in Sussex, England.

Bibliographic information