Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Real Pirates of the Caribbean

The latest installment of Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has just been released, and introduces Blackbeard as a character. My last book, The Republic of Pirates, reconstructed Blackbeard's life story from original archival sources, along with those of other members of the notorious pirate gang that ever sailed, a group that included "Black Sam" Bellamy, Charles Vane, the gentleman pirate Stede Bonnet.

As a result, I'm often asked about the extent to which the Disney films draw on reality. While I haven't had a chance to see the film as of yet, these were my thoughts in The Christian Science Monitor on how Pirates of the Caribbean III stacked up against the pirates on which it is unconsciously based.

I was also interviewed for this story in tomorrow's Boston Sunday Globe, on why Bellamy could not have built a fort in easternmost Maine, as suggested by the General History of the Pyrates, the 1724 tome upon which much of our pirate myth and legend is based. (The Globe writer left out the other part of my position: that a pirate gang probably did build some sort of temporary base in Machias, it just wasn't Bellamy's.)

For more on pirates, consider visiting my Republic of Pirates website.

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