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The Buccaneer's (Unofficial) Manual

Stephen Turnbull


A witty, informative and highly entertaining guide to how to be a pirate, combining historical accuracy with a humorous eye in an irreverent but revealing look at the world of piracy and buccaneering


In the Golden Age of piracy, privateers and buccaneers are at large on the seven seas, tyrannizing the ships of enemy nations and squandering the spoils in safe havens along the Spanish Main – provided they avoid the hangman, that is.

This book will tell you everything you need to know to join the ranks of a swashbuckling crew, survive aboard ship, and perhaps one day don the captain’s tricorn! Will you set your sights on the treasure fleets that carry gold, silk and spices from the colonies to the Crown? Or will you target harbour towns, cannons and cutlasses at the ready as you prepare to fight?

Find out:

• WHAT scurvy is, and how to avoid it
• WHICH flags to fly when you spot a ship on the horizon
• WHERE to drop anchor and sell your ill-gotten booty
• HOW to outsmart the bounty-hunters and excisemen on your tail
• WHY burying your treasure might not be the most sturdy retirement plan…

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'Interesting, energetic and easy to read … a good book for sea dogs and landlubbers alike'
All About History

Product Information

Book Details

Format: PLC (no jacket)

Size: 19.8 x 12.5 cm

Extent: 200 pp

Illustrations: 122

Publication date: 5 April 2018

ISBN: 9780500252239

Contents List

Introduction: So you want to be a Pirate? • 1. Pirates and You • 2. Role Models • 3. Life on Board • 4. The Practical Pirate • 5. The Pirate in Action • 6. Land Ho! The Pirate Raid • 7. The Successful Pirate Captain • 8. The Pirate in His Old Age • 9. The Last Word • 10. A Note from the Editor

About the Author

Stephen Turnbull is a writer and historian, specializing in military history, particularly of Japan and East Asia. He is Honorary Lecturer in Japanese Religion at Leeds University and Visiting Professor of Japanese Studies at Akita International University in Japan. He is the author of over seventy books, including Samurai: The Japanese Warrior’s (Unofficial) Manual (2012), published by Thames & Hudson.

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