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Book Review

A General History:
Of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pirates

A General History

Author: Captain Charles Johnson (Editing & Preface by David Cordingly)
Lyons Press
Year Released:2010
368 pages
Genre: Non-Fiction
MSRP: $19.95
ISBN: 978-1-59921-905-9

4 out of 5 Stars
4/5 Stars


After receiving Cordingly's edition of The General History of the Robberies & Murders of the Most Notorious Pirates, it took me nearly a month to get around to actually reading it through. Indeed I have been busy with my current ventures, but to tell the truth, I was not at all looking forward to reviewing this text. Having now read through more than half-a-dozen books with this same title, (most being near exact copies of one another) I had no reason to believe that this book would be any different from the others. Well I was sure wrong. Cordingly has indeed created a version of Captain Charles Johnson's work that stands out from the rest.

Of course with an introduction and commentary written by one of the leading authorities on pirates, how could it not be.

Cordingly and Lyons Press have certainly made many changes from the 1925 edition, from which this book is adapted. By adopting modern spellings and capitalizations, Cordingly has created a text that is much more accessible to those who do not wish to wade through the Old-English syntax found in many of the other editions. Furthermore, the addition of Cordingly's wonderfully insightful comments and notes, give the reader a much fuller understanding of the historical context of the readings. These notes can be found organized at the end of the text alongside a through glossary, describing those seafaring terms to which lubbers may not be fully acquainted.

While this text is obviously missing the authenticity of its original 1776 counterpart, the amendments, alterations, and additions made, have created a much more accessible version of The General History, one that appeals to pirate enthusiasts of all ages.


-Reviewed by:
Captain Stormy Monday





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