Pirates in Art and Storytelling


American Boy Magazine June 1925. When boys look out to sea in illustration they are usually looking ‘at something’ whereas girls and women are looking wistfully at something in their imagination (a sailor, probably). This illustration bridges that gap.
St Nicholas Magazine for boys and girls vintage 1930 October pirate cover art by MANNING de V. LEE (1894-1980)
St Nicholas Magazine for boys and girls vintage 1930 October pirate cover art by MANNING de V. LEE (1894-1980)
ARGOSY June 1943 Pulp Magazine MALVIN SINGER Pirate Battle
ARGOSY June 1943 Pulp Magazine MALVIN SINGER Pirate Battle
Adventures In Wonderland June 1955 available at comicbookplus.com
N.C. Wyeth, Stand and Deliver, Life magazine ‘Wall Street Number’, Sept. 22, 1921
Amazing Stories Volume 09 Number 11 (March 1935) The Body Pirate



The Buccaneer is an American folk tale first collected by folklorist Charles M. Skinner in 1896.

If you’d like to hear “The Buccaneer” read aloud, I recommend the retellings by Parcast’s Tales podcast series. (They have now moved over to Spotify.) These are ancient tales retold using contemporary English, complete with music and Foley effects. Some of these old tales are pretty hard to read, but the Tales podcast presents them in an easily digestible way. “The Buccaneer” was published July 2020.


The secret meaning behind the Jolly Roger and other forgotten facts about the golden age of piracy, from Australia’s ABC news, in which we learn that pirates were murderers, but also very good at sewing.


Arrgh! Pirates!, episode 17 of the Then Again Podcast: Pirates? You mean murderers, robbers, extortionists, and kidnappers who prefer to work from a boat? No? Well, too bad – that’s what they are! In this episode, Ken and Glen discuss those people who in the popular imagination are happy-go-lucky, free-spirited, mischievous sailing enthusiasts, but who are in reality rum-soaked, syphilitic criminals. Enjoy!

The Golden Age of Pirates, episode 71 of the Then Again podcast: Ahoy, mateys! We’ve brought Dr. Jeff Pardue back in to enlighten us about the Golden Age of Piracy, and to try and separate the fact from the fiction. (Hopefully, this will whet your appetite for our upcoming Virtual Family Day on Pirates!)


  1. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson — One of the most famous books on this list, and a classic example of a Robinsonnade mythic structure. (The main character stays in one place to have their adventure.) See also: Island Symbolism and A Brief History Of Adventure Stories In English.
  2. Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini
  3. The Coral Island: A Tale of the Pacific Ocean by R. M. Ballantyne
  4. The Pirates Own Book by Charles Ellms
  5. A General History of the Pyrates by Daniel Defoe
  6. The Wreck of the Titan by Morgan Robertson
  7. Sea Stories by Cyrus Townsend Brady
  8. The Book of Buried Treasure by Ralph Delahaye Paine
  9. The Pirates’ Who’s Who by Philip Gosse
  10. Privateering and Piracy in the Colonial Period by J. Franklin Jameson
  11. The Pirates of Panama by A. O. Exquemelin
  12. The Pirate by Walter Scott
  13. The Shanty Book, Part I, Sailor Shanties by Richard Runciman Terry
  14. The Sea-Hawk by Rafael Sabatini
  15. Thrilling Narratives of Mutiny, Murder and Piracy by Anonymous
  16. The Ghost Pirates by William Hope Hodgson
  17. The King of Pirates by Daniel Defoe
  18. Howard Pyle’s Book of Pirates by Howard Pyle
  19. The Dark Frigate by Charles Boardman Hawes
  20. The Story of the Barbary Corsairs by J. D. Jerrold Kelley and Stanley Lane-Poole
  21. Tales of the Fish Patrol by Jack London
  22. Buccaneers and Pirates of Our Coasts by Frank Richard Stockton
  23. Among Malay Pirates : a Tale of Adventure and Peril by G. A. Henty
  24. The Dealings of Captain Sharkey, and Other Tales of Pirates by Arthur Conan Doyle
  25. The Buccaneers in the West Indies in the XVII Century by Clarence Henry Haring
  26. The Eventful History of the Mutiny and Piratical Seizure of H.M.S. Bounty
  27. Blackbeard: Buccaneer by Ralph Delahaye Paine
  28. Captain William Kidd and Others of the Buccaneers by John S. C. Abbott
  29. The Pirate’s Pocket Book by Dion Clayton Calthrop
  30. Kate Bonnet: The Romance of a Pirate’s Daughter by Frank Richard Stockton
  31. The History of the Lives and Bloody Exploits of the Most Noted Pirates; Their Trials and Executions
  32. Blackbeard; Or, The Pirate of Roanoke by B. Barker
  33. The Two Supercargoes; Or, Adventures in Savage Africa by Kingston
  34. History of the Buccaneers of America by James Burney
  35. Grace O’Malley, Princess and Pirate by Robert Machray
  36. The Pirate Island: A Story of the South Pacific by Harry Collingwood
  37. Famous Sea Fights, from Salamis to Tsu-Shima by A. Hilliard Atteridge
  38. Wolves of the Sea by Randall Parrish
  39. Great Sea Stories by Joseph Lewis French
  40. Great Pirate Stories by Joseph Lewis French
  41. Perseverance Island; Or, The Robinson Crusoe of the Nineteenth Century by Frazar
  42. Homeward Bound; Or, the Chase: A Tale of the Sea by James Fenimore Cooper
  43. The Expedition to Borneo of H.M.S. Dido by James and Keppel
  44. The Pirates of Shan: A Rick Brant Science-Adventure Story by Harold L. Goodwin
  45. Fanny Campbell, The Female Pirate Captain: A Tale of The Revolution by Ballou
  46. Pirates and Piracy by Oscar Herrmann
  47. Black Bartlemy’s Treasure by Jeffery Farnol
  48. The Real Captain Kidd: A Vindication by Cornelius Neale Dalton
  49. Sea-Wolves of the Mediterranean: The grand period of the Moslem corsairs by Currey
  50. Thrilling Adventures by Land and Sea by James O. Brayman
  51. Treasure of the Seas by James De Mille
  52. The Black Buccaneer by Stephen W. Meader
  53. The Iron Pirate: A Plain Tale of Strange Happenings on the Sea by Max Pemberton
  54. The Frozen Pirate by William Clark Russell
  55. Barty Crusoe and His Man Saturday by Frances Hodgson Burnett — You may recognise the author from The Secret Garden.
  56. A Lady’s Captivity among Chinese Pirates in the Chinese Seas by Fanny Loviot
  57. Wappin’ Wharf: A Frightful Comedy of Pirates by Charles S. Brooks
  58. Gentlemen Rovers by E. Alexander Powell
  59. The Pirate of Panama: A Tale of the Fight for Buried Treasure by Raine
  60. The Chief Mate’s Yarns: Twelve Tales of the Sea by T. Jenkins Hains
  61. The Sea Monarch by Percy F. Westerman
  62. Tom Pagdin, Pirate by E. J. Brady
  63. The Pirates of Malabar, and an Englishwoman in India Two Hundred Years Ago
  64. The Quest of the ‘Golden Hope’: A Seventeenth Century Story of Adventure
  65. Pieces of Eight by Richard Le Gallienne
  66. A Roving Commission; Or, Through the Black Insurrection at Hayti by G. A. Henty
  67. The Pirate of the Mediterranean: A Tale of the Sea by William Henry Giles Kingston
  68. Roger Willoughby: A Story of the Times of Benbow by William Henry Giles Kingston
  69. The Strange Adventures of Eric Blackburn by Harry Collingwood
  70. The Rover’s Secret: A Tale of the Pirate Cays and Lagoons of Cuba by Collingwood
  71. Afloat at Last by John C. Hutcheson
  72. The German Pirate: His Methods and Record by Ajax
  73. The Pirate, and The Three Cutters by Frederick Marryat
  74. Famous Privateersmen and Adventurers of the Sea by Charles H. L. Johnston
  75. The Mystery Boys and Captain Kidd’s Message by Van Powell
  76. A Pirate of the Caribbees by Harry Collingwood
  77. A Tale of Two Tunnels: A Romance of the Western Waters by William Clark Russell
  78. Captain Mugford: Our Salt and Fresh Water Tutors by William Henry Giles Kingston
  79. Blown to Bits: The Lonely Man of Rakata, the Malay Archipelago by R. M. Ballantyne
  80. The Pirate Woman by Aylward Edward Dingle
  81. Frontier Boys on the Coast; Or, In the Pirate’s Power by Wyn Roosevelt
  82. Captain Brand of the “Centipede” by H. A. Wise
  83. Adrift in a Boat by William Henry Giles Kingston
  84. The Cruise of the Nonsuch Buccaneer by Harry Collingwood
  85. Captain Scraggs; Or, The Green-Pea Pirates by Peter B. Kyne
  86. Piracy off the Florida Coast and Elsewhere by Samuel A. Green
  87. Paul Gerrard, the Cabin Boy by William Henry Giles Kingston
  88. Narrative of the shipwreck of the brig Betsey, of Wiscasset, Maine, and murder of five of her crew, by pirates, on the coast of Cuba, Dec. 1824.
  89. The Pirate Slaver: A Story of the West African Coast by Harry Collingwood
  90. An Old Sailor’s Yarns by N. Ames
  91. The Life of a Celebrated Buccaneer by Richard Clynton
  92. Journal of Voyages Containing an Account of the Author’s being Twice Captured by the English and Once by Gibbs the Pirate…
  93. Plotting in Pirate Seas by Francis Rolt-Wheeler
  94. Jack Harvey’s Adventures; or, The Rival Campers Among the Oyster Pirates by Smith
  95. A Middy of the King: A Romance of the Old British Navy by Harry Collingwood
  96. The Third Officer: A Present-day Pirate Story by Percy F. Westerman
  97. Pirate Gold by Frederic Jesup Stimson
  98. The Queen of the Pirate Isle by Bret Harte — On this blog I have analysed the short story “The Outcasts of Poker Flat” by the same author.
  99. The Devil’s Admiral by Frederick Ferdinand Moore
  100. Carried Off: A Story of Pirate Times by Esmè Stuart

On paper, things look fine. Sam Dennon recently inherited significant wealth from his uncle. As a respected architect, Sam spends his days thinking about the family needs and rich lives of his clients. But privately? Even his enduring love of amateur astronomy is on the wane. Sam has built a sustainable-architecture display home for himself but hasn’t yet moved into it, preferring to sleep in his cocoon of a campervan. Although they never announced it publicly, Sam’s wife and business partner ended their marriage years ago due to lack of intimacy, leaving Sam with the sense he is irreparably broken.

Now his beloved uncle has died. An intensifying fear manifests as health anxiety, with night terrors from a half-remembered early childhood event. To assuage the loneliness, Sam embarks on a Personal Happiness Project:

1. Get a pet dog

2. Find a friend. Just one. Not too intense.




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