Life among the Pirates The Romance and the Reality First published in Great Britain in 1995 by Little, Brown and Company. The American edition of this book is published under the title: Under the Black Flag The Romance and Reality of Life among the Pirates First published in the United States of America in 1995 by Random House, New York. Pirates have become so much a part of legend that it is easy to forget they actually existed. Our image of them is derived from a few scattered facts overlaid with three centuries of melodramas, romantic novels adventure stories, comic strips and swashbuckling films. In this revealing and highly original book the author sets out to discover the truth behind the legends and comes up with some surprising conclusions. Here are the real stories of Blackbeard, Captain Kidd and Henry Morgan together with many lesser known but equally fascinating characters such as Calico Jack and the female pirates Mary Read and Anne Bonny. “This is the most authoritative and highly literary account of these pernicious people that I have ever read.” Patrick O’Brian “Entirely engaging and informative….a witty and spirited book.” The Washington Post “This expert and deftly written history of the golden age of piracy… effortlessly expands its scope to become social, cultural, literary and even cinematic history…Cordingly brilliantly and engagingly demonstrates how myths are formed – and how very much we live by them.” Caleb Carr, author of The Alienist “Entertaining and popular but also serious in its intent to demonstrate the reality behind the myth of piracy as portrayed in fiction and film.” The Times Literary Supplement “An excellent description of the methods, means of recruitment, way of life and generally dismal ends of the pirates who flourished from the 16th to the end of the 18th century.” Boston Globe