Pirate Queens

The Lives of Anne Bonny & Mary Read

Rebecca Alexandra Simon

Between August and October 1720, two female pirates named Anne Bonny and Mary Read terrorized the Caribbean in and around Jamaica.
Date Published :
June 2022
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
40 black and white illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Hardback
ISBN : 9781526791306

Dimensions : 9.1 X 6.1 inches
Stock Status : In stockPages : 208
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Between August and October 1720, two female pirates named Anne Bonny and Mary Read terrorized the Caribbean in and around Jamaica. Despite their short career, they became two of the most notorious pirates during the height of the eighteenth-century Golden Age of Piracy. In a world dominated by men, they became infamous for their bravery, cruelty and unwavering determination to escape the social constraints placed on women during that time. Despite their infamy, mystery shrouds their lives before they became pirates. Their biographies were recorded in Captain Charles Johnson’s 1724 book, A General History of the Pyrates, depicting the two women as illegitimate women raised by men who, against insurmountable odds, crossed paths in Nassau and became pirates together. But how much is fact versus fiction?

This first full-length biography about Anne Bonny and Mary Read explores their intriguing backgrounds while examining the social context of women in their lifetime and their legacy in popular culture that exists to the present day. Using A General History of the Pyrates, early modern legal documents relating to women, their recorded public trial in The Tryal of Jack Rackham and Other Pyrates, newspapers and new, uncovered research, this book unravels the mysteries and legends surrounding their lives.

About The Author

Rebecca Simon is a world-leading expert about pirates, their lives and their roles in colonies and communities. She earned her PhD at King’s College London, where she wrote a thesis about public executions of pirates and the struggle of British supremacy in the seventeenth and eighteenth-century Atlantic world. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Maritime History, History Today and BBC History Revealed. Her first book, Why We Love Pirates: The Hunt for Captain Kidd and How He Changed Piracy Forever was published in 2020. Rebecca is a sought-after expert and has been interviewed for television programs for the BBC, History Channel and Netflix and on podcasts such as History Extra, History Hit and You’re Dead to Me. Rebecca currently writes and teaches in Los Angeles.


Prologue: Pirate Queens in History

Chapter 1 The Lawyer and the Maid
Chapter 2 Anne Bonny, a Not-So-Southern Lady
Chapter 3 The Widow and the Bastard
Chapter 4 Mary Read, the Soldier
Chapter 5 Anne Bonny, the Pirate
Chapter 6 Pirate Queens of the Caribbean
Chapter 7 The Trial of Anne Bonny and Mary Read
Chapter 8 Women’s Attraction to Piracy
Chapter 9 Conclusion

Appendix I: An Act for Suppressing Pirates in West Indies (1717)
Appendix II: By His Excellency Woodes Rogers, Governour of New-Providence, a Proclamation, 1720
Appendix III: Calendar of State Papers, Colonial Series, Vol. 33 (1720–1721)
Appendix IV: The Boston Gazette
Appendix V: The Trial of Anne Bonny and Mary Read

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