A General History of the Pyrates is a history book attributed to Daniel Defoe and published in 1724, under the pseudonym Captain Charles Johnson. It contains a series of biographies of pirates of the time.
The first volume of the book focuses on pirates of the early 18th century. The description of the pirates in this volume is very consistent with the historical sources documenting the time, and Daniel Defoe simply embellishes or embellishes the stories.
The pirates collected in the first volume are: Henry Avery, James Martel, Blackbeard, Stede Bonnet, Edward England, Charles Vane, Calico Jack Rackham, Anne Bonny, Mary Read, Howell Davis, Bartholomew ("Black Bart") Roberts , Thomas Anstis, Richard Worley, George Lowther, Edward Low, John Evans, Francis Spriggs, John Smith, John Gow, and Roche Brasiliano.
On the other hand, the second volume focuses on pirate deeds from a few decades before the first volume. Unlike the first, it is not as faithful to the history and includes biographies of characters that appear to be fictional.
Here we meet Thomas Tew, William Kidd, John Bowen, John Halsey, Thomas White, Thomas Howard, David Williams, Samuel Burgess, Nathaniel North, Christopher Condent, Samuel Bellamy and William Fly as real characters, and the more than likely fictional captains James Misson, Lewis and Cornelius.
"AS the Pyrates in the West-Indies have been so formidable and numerous, that they have interrupted the Trade of Europe into those Parts; and our English Merchants, in particular, have suffered more by their Depredations, than by the united Force of France and Spain, in the late War: We do not doubt but the World will be curious to know the Original and Progress of these Desperadoes, who were the Terror of the trading Part of the World."
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Date added: 04-05-2022
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