This book aims to portray an accurate picture of the pirates who sailed in the waters of the Caribbean and off the American coastline during the golden age of piracy and shows that the life of a pirate was nasty, brutish and short (with one or two table exceptions). It traces the origins of piratical activity in the 16th century and examines the Boucaneer (Bucaneer) culture in Jamaica and Hispaniola. It details what drove individuals to a life of piracy, how they dressed, their weaponry, the ships they used and the codes by which they operated, for example, disciplinary procedures and the division of booty. It also catalogues the main characters active during this period: Edward Blackbeard Teach, Henry Morgan, Henry Long Ben Avery, Stede Bonnet, William Kidd, John Calico Jack Rackham and the female duo associated with him, Anne Bonny and Mary Read.
Angus Konstam is the chief curator at the Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Center in Key West, Florida and one of Osprey's most popular authors.He has organised and researched a major pirates exhibition, which opened in 1997 and is currently touring the US. Angus McBride is a world renowned military artist. He has been illustrating for Osprey for over twenty years. Angus's recent books include Campaign 46 Lake Peipus 1242 and Warrior 21 Highland Clansman 1689-1746.