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text 2019-07-17 18:14
Alaric the Goth - Marcel Brion
Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates - David Cordingly
Morning of Magicians - Jacques Bergier,Louis Pauwels
The Secret History of Ancient Egypt - Herbie Brennan
History of the Goths - Herwig Wolfram, Thomas J. Dunlap (Illustrator)
Beneath the Pyramid - Christian Jacq
The Advance Man: A Journey Into the World of the Circus - Jamie MacVicar
Original Magic: The Rituals and Initiations of the Persian Magi - Flowers, Stephen E., Ph.D.
The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft - Ronald Hutton
A Brief History of Chocolate - Steve Berry,Phil Norman

1. Alaric the Goth by Marcel Brion. Biography that reads like a great Barbarian story.

2. Under the Black Flag by David Cordingly. Real pirates!

3. Morning of the Magicians by Jacques Bergier, Louis Pauwels - history of magical practice

4. The Secret History of Ancient Egypt by Herbie Brennan

5. History of the Goths by Herwig Wolfram

6. Beneath the Pyramid by Christian Jacq

7. The Advance Man: A Journey Into the World of the Circus by Jamie F. MacVicar

8. Original Magic: The Rituals and Initiations of the Persian Magi by Stephen Flowers

9. The Triumph of the Moon by Ronald Hutton

10. A Brief History of Chocolate by Steve Berry, Phil Norman

 

 

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text 2016-08-13 23:00
Black Sails and Piracy

So I got to watching Starz's Black Sails recently and although I was hesitant at first, expecting it to be kind of corny, it soon grew on me and I've been binge watching it. The show has grown through the second season and I particularly like Toby Stephens as Captain Flint. (RLS' Treasure Island Captain Flint). I like how they have blended fictional characters in with the romanticized real life ones such as Blackbeard & Charles Vane.

 

Anyway all of this led me to start thinking about the history of the Caribbean and in particular piracy. From my initial wikipedia searches I found that information seems sparse, which is understandable, given that we're talking about 400 year old history, but I knew there would be someone out there that has written a solid, engaging history. 

 

And so I'm now at the point where I've just purchased 3 books from Amazon based on recommendations from varying places. David Cordingly's name kept popping up with his history Under the black Flag and his more recent Spanish Gold. Finally I stumbled upon Carrie Gibson's Empire's Crossroads. 

 

To be honest I'm sat here now and I'm thinking to myself, how have I left it so long to delve into piracy. Perhaps it's because it's typically romanticized for children, who can pretend to be adventurous, marauding captains with their plastic sword, pirate hat play set from the local toy shop.

 

Maybe because of this glamorizing of piracy in modern day society and the lack of reliable evidence available it's hard differentiate between what is legend or fantasy and what was real. Hopefully my three purchases will help enlighten me. 

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review 2010-06-01 00:00
Seafaring Women: Adventures of Pirate Queens, Female Stowaways, and Sailors' Wives
Seafaring Women: Adventures of Pirate Queens, Female Stowaways & Sailors' Wives - David Cordingly In short, for a book called "Seafaring Women" it was shockingly patronizing of women. (Or maybe it wasn't shocking, and that was what made me so angry.)
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review 2009-07-15 00:00
Seafaring Women: Adventures of Pirate Queens, Female Stowaways & Sailors' Wives - David Cordingly I will have to admit that the title is a little misleading as the book is a lot more about the sailors then their women at certain points - however, on the whole it was very interesting and enlightening.

I learned a lot about my city in the first chapter (I'm from NYC) and the prostitution and dance halls that popped up down there because of the sea ports and the demands of the sailors.

You learn a lot about select captains of the navy and of course you read about Mary Reade and Anne Bonny. Pirate men take a backseat but when you read about sailors and anything dealing with an HMS you are reading about men.

On the whole I thought he could have injected more of a woman's POV but I will cut him some slack due to the fact that there aren't a lot of books written about women as pirates/stowaways/heroes. There are also not a lot of accounts and that is owing to a few things. Women were not very likely to want to disclose that they are female to their crew. Two, they were not seeking claim or fame and most likely just appealed to the Navy Pension - or didn't depending on whether or not they were married etc. Also, even if there had been a decent amount of women that worked and disguised themselves on a boat, they were most likely not written about and only those that distinguished themselves to the point of public notice were written about.

Authors saw that people liked to read about women pirates/sailors but few believed that women should go into that profession.

All in all - this is a good book if you are interested in maritime history and a slightly better understanding of the role and POV of women during the heydays of sailing.
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review 2009-07-14 00:00
Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates - David Cordingly Not as entertaining as his previous book about Seafaring women. I'm taking a bit of a break on this one.
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