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Description de l’éditeur
*Includes historic illustrations of Mary Read and important people in her life.
*Includes a profile of Mary Read from the famous English pirate history "A General History of the Pyrates".
*Discusses common legends about Mary Read, separating fact from fiction.
*Includes a Bibliography for further reading.
*Includes a Table of Contents.
“[H]e fell accidentally into Discourse with Mary Read, whom he taking for a young Man, ask’d her, what Pleasure she could have in being concerned in such Enterprizes, where her Life was continually in Danger, by Fire or Sword; and not only so, but she must be sure of dying an ignominious Death, if she should be taken alive?—She answer’d, that as to hanging, she thought it no great Hardship, for, were it not for that, every cowardly Fellow would turn Pyrate, and so infest the Seas, that Men of Courage must starve...” - Captain Charles Johnson, A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the most notorious Pyrates
The people who have lived outside the boundaries of normal societies and refused to play by the rules have long fascinated the world, and nowhere is this more evident than the continuing interest in the pirates of centuries past. As the subjects of books, movies, and even theme park rides, people continue to let their imaginations go when it comes to pirates, with buried treasure, parrots, and walking the plank all ingrained in pop culture’s perception of them. Charles River Editors’ Legendary Pirates series covers the lives, piracy, legends, myths, and legacies of history’s most famous pirates.
Among all the pirates of the “Golden Age of Piracy”, none were as unique as Mary Read, who was one of just two known women to be tried as a pirate during the Golden Age, alongside her own crewmate (and possible lover) Anne Bonny. Like Anne, Mary Read was an illegitimate child who spent some of her childhood dressed up as and disguised as a little boy through incredibly strange circumstances. But unlike her future shipmate, Mary ultimately took a liking to it, and she continued to disguise her gender to take on roles reserved for men, including in the British army. During that time, she fell in love with a Flemish soldier and eventually married him.
Mary Read might have been content to live out her life with her husband in Holland, but after his death, she headed for the West Indies, only to have her ship commandeered by pirates. But Read, who had worked on a ship before, was only too happy to join the pirate crew and play the role of privateer. And in 1720, that crew was captured by Calico Jack, who already had his lover Anne Bonny as part of his crew and now unwittingly added a second female when Mary opted to join.
Together the three played a legendary role as shipmates and possible lovers while continuing their piracy around the Bahamas, only to eventually be captured by authorities in October 1720. Most of the crew was executed, but Mary and Anne both decided to “plead the belly”, claiming they were pregnant and thereby receiving a stay of execution. This spared them the noose, but Mary would die of illness while still imprisoned in 1721.
Legendary Pirates: The Life and Legacy of Mary Read looks at the mysterious life and legends of the famous female pirate, attempting to separate fact from fiction while analyzing her lasting legacy. Along with pictures depicting Mary and important people, places, and events in her life, you will learn about the famous pirate like you never have before, in no time at all.