Modernknight's Reading List
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January 7, 2015 at 10:36 pm #379modernknight1Keymaster
There will be other topics in this forums with more extensive reviews and opinions, but this is simply to post a reading list of my favorite books. I may put up a separate page for this as well. As I develop this topic more I will add links for places to download or buy these titles as well as new titles….
I will be adding to this topic a lot because I have read so many books and it will take a REALLY long time to put them all down here. However, this is at least a start and I hope some people find it useful. I am a voracious reader with an extensive library. I highly recommend the following books from my own shelves: Feel free to comment.
The Capture of the Treasure Fleet: The Story of Piet Heyn, by Robert F. Marx, This book is so historically expansive that Heyn and his exploits are only covered in the last few chapters. The vast majority of this book covers the preparations, conduct, procedures and history of the Spanish Treasure fleets or “Flotas”. It is the best and most comprehensive description of this subject in a single narrative that I know of. It is one of my top ten favorite books. It was published in 1977 and is somewhat hard to get these days.
The Scents of Eden: A History of the Spice Trade, By Charles Corn, Another of my top ten favorite books I have read this book three times in the last 10 years. It is a set of historical narratives about different people and their experiences in the far east during colonial expansion. My favorite story covered two friends that become separated by event during the Portuguese conquest of the Spice Islands. One of these men is none other than Magellan himself. They come once again within a hundred miles of one another from opposite sides of the globe at the time of Magellan’s death. Very sad. EXCELLENT. You will be awed and drawn in and won’t be able to put it down. You will also have learned a great deal by the time you finish the book. Here is Amazon’s description: “Clothed in mystery and lost in uncharted seas, the Spice Islands of the early sixteenth century tantalized European imagination to the point of obsession. As the only place on Earth where grew the “holy trinity” of spices-cloves, nutmeg, and mace-these minuscule islands quickly became a wellspring of international intrigue and personal fortune, occasioning the rise and fall of nations across the globe. It is the history of these islands, their mystique, and the men who tried to tame them, that is the fascinating bounty of THE SCENTS OF EDEN.” The Scents of Eden
A Pirate of Exquisite Mind: Explorer, Naturalist, and Buccaneer, The Life of William Dampier, by Diana and Michael Preston, This one reminds me more of Aubrey. I LOVE THIS BOOK! It’s set right in the middle of the Golden Age. This guy bucks everything going against him. Most Pirates didn’t live very long. I mean Black Sam Bellemy’s considered to have had one of the greatest careers but it only lasted a couple years. This one’s about William Dampier. This guy goes virtually everywhere from the Carribean to Madagascar to Australia. Dampier is one of these unknown guys that majorly influenced history. His descriptions of breadfruit was the reasons Bligh went looking for it later. More than a thousand entries in the modern English dictionary can be attributed to him…chopsticks, barbeque, and kumquat. I just really enjoyed the depth. This one took a little longer to read, more because I just enjoyed absorbing it so much. It’s 335 pages and you wont regret reading it. It’s one of those books that’s not only just fun to read, but you end up being smarter in the process.
The Pirate Hunter: The True Story of Captain Kidd, by Richard Zacks
The Speedwell Voyage: A Tale of Piracy and Mutiny in the Eighteenth Century, by Kenneth Poolman, This ones set in the 1720s, but it has everything and it is written as a novel. Its the story of the 22 gun British Privateer Speedwell. This book has everything, storms, mutiny, fighting. Their mission is raids on the Spanish plate fleet. This book is based on the original memiors of Capt. Shelvocke which inspired the famous Rime of the Ancient Mariner and has the island in it from Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. A good read and it’s only about a 160 pages. Read it in a couple days.
The Black Ship, by Dudley Pope: This book is brutal and Pope is both a brilliant writer and historian. It’s set in the time of Hornblower circa 1797 on the British frigate Hermione in the Carribean. It covers what many consider the worst mutiny in British history and the loss of the Hermione to the Spanish. Dont want to ruin the story, but the ship is recovered by the famous HMS Surprise. You’ll love it
The Prize of All the Oceans: Commodore Anson’s Daring Voyage and Triumphant Capture of the Spanish Treasure Galleon, by Glyn Williams This one is set in the 1740s after the Golden Age was over, and details probably the most exciting events to happen at sea during the preceding and subsequent decades. Only Blaz de Lezo’s exploits outshine Anson during this fairly boring time in history (at least at sea) It covers raiding on Spanish Treasure ships by the British and is more history than novel. It flows well and reads easy.
Commodore Anson sets off with a squadron of six ships (story centered on the HMS Centurion) on a secret mission to sail over half way round the world to raid the Manilla Galleons sailing from Acapulco to Manilla and Canton. These guys have all kinds of hardships over the next four years and go everywhere. Satisfying ending. 240 pages – read it in less than a week. Good illustrations and sources.
The Secret Voyage of Sir Francis Drake 1577-1580, by Samuel Bawlf
Bold Privateers: Terror, Plunder and Profit on Canada’s Atlantic Coast, by Roger Marsters
Patriot Pirate: The Privateer War for Freedom and Fortune in the American Revolution, by Robert H. Patton. Also set after the Golden Age its still a very good read. This is set a couple decades before the Hornblower series but all about Yankee privateering in many of the same settings. More history than novel it flows good and has a Hornblower-esque feel to it. Lots of great details on money and cargoes and convoluted little plots. 240 pages
Pirates and the Lost Templar Fleet: The Secret Naval War between the Knights Templar and the Vatican, by David Hatcher Childress
The Pirates Own Book: Authentic Narratives of the Most Celebrated Sea Robbers, by the Marine Research Society
and of course the landmark work:
A General History of The Pyrates, by Captain Charles Johnson (alias: Daniel Defoe) first published in 1724
Empire of the Blue Water: Captain Morgan’s Pirate Army, the Epic Battle for the Americas, and the Catastrophe The Ended the Outlaws’Bloddy Reign, by Stephan Talty
Most of these are not novels, but in my opinion real history is better than a novel and well written historic narratives often flow/are written in the style of novels which is the case of most of the books above. Happy Reading
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