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Publisher's Summary

In the first-ever history of the world's female buccaneers, Pirate Women: the Princesses, Prostitutes, and Privateers Who Ruled the Seven Seas tells the story of women, both real and legendary, who through the ages sailed alongside - and sometimes in command of - their male counterparts. These women came from all walks of life but had one thing in common: a desire for freedom. History has largely ignored these female swashbucklers - until now. Here are their stories, from ancient Norse princess Alfhild and warrior Rusla to Sayyida al-Hurra of the Barbary corsairs; from Grace O'Malley, who terrorized shipping operations around the British Isles during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, to Cheng I Sao, who commanded a fleet of 400 ships off China in the early 19th century. Author Laura Sook Duncombe also looks beyond the stories to the storytellers and mythmakers. What biases and agendas motivated them? What did they leave out? Pirate Women explores why and how these stories are told and passed down and how history changes depending on who is recording it. It's the most comprehensive overview of women pirates in one volume and chock-full of swashbuckling adventures that pull these unique women from the shadows into the spotlight that they deserve.

©2017 Laura Sook Duncombe (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Duncombe's well-researched account will appeal to history and women's studies aficionados, lovers of myth and lore, and all interested in viewing the past through a new lens." (Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Eww. Not a lovely historical fiction nor fact. Not a story, even.

Come on, this could have been a wonderful book of mini women pirate tales. Mix history and legend. Leave the thesis paper for school. Disappointed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great facts but a little boring.

This felt more like a class lecture book with matter of fact tidbits and less visual descriptions. Good information and I like that the author highlights how women could have been viewed/altered for a "better" tale or a more palatable one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great Subject, Terrible Book

The subject is great, the actual book is poorly written, poorly researched and filled with over the top biases.

  • Overall
  • Performance
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Good, I liked it

Interesting to hear about more female pirates than I was aware of. It was padded out more than I would have liked with current social commentary than I cared for but a good listen

  • Overall
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  • Story

Good but not perfect.

I may be hash with only a 3/5 since the topic is good and some of the storys are really enjoyable. But I keep drifting out when the author gets less focused. It keeps telling me that someone should make a book about tjis fasinating people... I mean I though this was suppose to be that book.. But dont get me wrong, I do not regret listening to this book. If you are intrested you should by it.