Coming of age for a wannabe Pirate.
November 16, 2009 5:51 PM   Subscribe

BookFilter: I read a book about the coming-of-age of a boy who's father is a Privateer. I read it around 2000 and I can't remember the name. It painted pirates in a sympathetic light. Help.

There was also a side story about the young man's 'first love' a crazy socialite wife who was a raging sadist.

The father dies, I think he was hung for being a pirate. I definitely remember that he was tortured for it. The boy gets married to a lady of a different ethnic background. She dies from a wound inflicted by a poisoned knife meant for her husband.

The socialite sadist is killed by a lover while she's shacked up with the torturer.

Sorry if this is vague, it's been 10 years! I think the book I read was a large paperback, so it probably came out in the late 90's.

I'd also love to hear any recommendations for historical fiction about Privateers. Something that shows the life in a realistic way. This book had a lot of romantic fluff, but the life of a privateer, the superstitions and the day-to-day interactions was really interesting.

This is my first question, so if I did something wrong feel free to give constructive criticism!
posted by TooFewShoes to Media & Arts (4 answers total)
Is it Birds of Prey?
posted by Alterscape at 7:57 PM on November 16, 2009

Alterscape's got it! I think that's it. I'm going to have to head down to the library tomorrow.
posted by TooFewShoes at 8:37 PM on November 16, 2009

Point of terminology - privateers and corsairs had official government recognition. Pirates were strictly on their own. (Recognition of course, could be a vague concept. One king's corsair is another king's pirate (e.g. Francis Drake). But it helps explain why the British naval vessels could claim a share of plunder where army officers could not.)

As to fiction, it matters if you care about the where and when. Pirates have been with us since ancient times. If you're envisioning Johnny Depp, you've narrowed the field considerably. Sabatini is the page turner gold standard, if of his time. The 1920's saw a lot of interest in pirates, no idea why.
posted by IndigoJones at 7:28 AM on November 17, 2009

Point of terminology - privateers and corsairs had official government recognition. Pirates were strictly on their own.
I knew the difference. I actually want to read about the sailors who were doing it for their country in addition to the riches, not the guys who were just doing it for the money.

Alterscape was right, it was Birds of Prey. I am now happily reading its sequel Monsoon.
posted by TooFewShoes at 8:02 PM on November 18, 2009

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