In the first-ever Seven Seas history of the world’s female buccaneers, Pirate Women: The Princesses, Prostitutes, and Privateers Who Ruled the Seven Seas tells the story of women, both real and legendary, who through the ages sailed alongside—and sometimes in command of—their male counterparts. These women came from all walks of life but had one thing in common: a desire for freedom. History has largely ignored these female swashbucklers, until now. Here are their stories, from ancient Norse princess Alfhild and warrior Rusla to Sayyida al-Hurra of the Barbary corsairs; from Grace O’Malley, who terrorized shipping operations around the British Isles during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I; to Cheng I Sao, who commanded a fleet of four hundred ships off China in the early nineteenth century.
Author Laura Sook Duncombe also looks beyond the stories to the storytellers and mythmakers. What biases and agendas motivated them? What did they leave out? Pirate Women explores why and how these stories are told and passed down, and how history changes depending on who is recording it. It’s the most comprehensive overview of women pirates in one volume and chock-full of swashbuckling adventures that pull these unique women from the shadows into the spotlight that they deserve.
- Amazon Sales Rank: #101529 in Books
- Published on: 2017-04-01
- Original language:
- Dimensions: 9.10" h x
.90" w x
- Binding: Hardcover
- 264 pages
“Thoroughly researched and enthrallingly written, Duncombe shows love and mastery of the subject in equal measure.” —Jason Porath, author of Rejected Princesses: Tales of History’s Boldest Heroines, Hellions, and Heretics
“Duncombe’s well-researched account will appeal to history and women’s studies aficionados, lovers of myth and lore, and all interested in viewing the past through a new lens.” —Booklist
About the Author
Laura Sook Duncombe is an author and feminist who loves all things science fiction, Broadway, and Sherlock Holmes. She lives with her wonderful husband and son in Virginia. Visit her at www.laurasookduncombe.com.
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
If looking for a book where (female) pirates jump out of the pages and come to life, keep looking.
By Beate Leirtun
I’m very sorry to say but this is not an engaging book on female pirate characters, either fictional or factual ones. It’s a summary more than a good entertaining story. The idea is brilliant but the finished result is not. The publisher should have given the author better direction and aid. Better luck next time.
An observation (maybe mainly for the author?): When the author in the intro rightfully reflects on the gender bias in historic sources, and the less accurate description of female characters as a result, I had expected her to move beyond that narrative and not recreate it. There are enough sources available today that would have given her a more accurate framework to built on than the books I find in the sources. As a result the (patriarchal) gender bias she set out to avoid is instead being repeated. She herself does not succeed in going beyond it, unfortunately.
Also when writing about a society different from your own, namely here mostly a European one, it would benefit the narrative to know that society a little better. You might not realise it but the European society and culture, also feminism, is very different from the US one.
A footnote: The Viking museum is in the capital of Norway, which is Oslo not Roskilde. Displayed there are amongst other things a burial boat for high ranking female and it’s content. (Roskilde is a village/city in Denmark, today known for its music festival).
0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
By Skipper Scooper
Very interesting read - well researched - thoroughly enjoyable
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful.
This is the most fun I've had reading history in god knows how long. I absolutely loved it.