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The Buccaneers of the Caribbean: How Piracy Forged an Empire, 1607-1697

Jon Latimer

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Prose: non-fiction, General & world history

The True Story of Piracy on the Spanish Main

This is the incredible true story of piracy in the Caribbean, proof positive that fact is stranger than fiction. From the moment the English established their first tiny colonies in the New World, semi-legal pirates took on the might of the Spanish Empire. The lure of Spanish gold was so strong that French and Dutch privateers soon joined them. Sometimes licensed by governments, but often not, desperate gangs of cut-throats dominated the Caribbean throughout the seventeenth century. Led by ruthless captains, they wrested many of the key islands from Spanish control, then fought each other for the region's strategic bases. Most notoriously, the 'brethren of the coast' established the pirate port of Tortuga, the infamous city of crime. From Piet Heyn's capture of the entire Spanish treasure fleet in 1628, to Henry Morgan's sack of Panama, this was the Age of the Bucaneeers. This epic story continued up to the destruction of the pirates' lair of Port Royal by an earthquake in 1692 -- recognised at the time as the judgement of God. . .International treaties at the end of the century brought this dramatic era to a close, by which time the division of the Caribbean among European powers was complete. And a legend had been born.

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