He crossed the Isthmus of Panama on foot, circumnavigated the globe three times, and wrote a bestseller about it in , A New Voyage Round the World , which spawned a European passion for travel books that was to last for decades.
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He visited Australia over eighty years before Captain Cook landed there, and was the first to describe its flora and fauna. He penned the first English description of the zebra.
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Over a thousand entries in the Oxford English Dictionary are attributed to Dampier, many of them having to do with food. Dampier gave us such terms as barbecue , cashew , kumquat , soy sauce , tortilla , and breadfruit— his praise for this last so enthusiastic that it led the British to attempt to transplant it to the British West Indies. Dampier routinely paired biology with meals. Portions of his journals read like cookbooks. He noted down methods for preparing plantains good baked in everything from tarts to boiled pudding and recorded what may be the first recipes in English for guacamole and mango chutney.
This is an excellent sauce, and much esteemed. By the 19th century, with the help of Lord Byron, Sir Walter Scott, and Robert Louis Stevenson—who, in , published Treasure Island , the ultimate pirate book—pirates had taken on the romantic and largely imaginary personas that have since tempted generations of ten-year-olds to run away to sea. There was an apple barrel on board and, Stevenson tells us, everybody got double grog on birthdays. Chop into small chunks turtle meat, chicken, pork, beef, ham, pigeon and fish.
Marinate with spiced wine and roast. Add the meats to boiled chopped cabbage, anchovies, pickled herring, mango, hard-boiled eggs, palm-hearts, onions, olives and grapes.
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Add pickled chopped vegetables and garlic, chili pepper, mustard, salt and pepper, and serve in a mound upon a large dish. Read Caption.
Eat Like a Pirate. By Rebecca Rupp. Portrait of William Dampier by Thomas Murray, circa Image courtesy National Portrait Gallery, London.
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There are other people who want that treasure for themselves, of course, and so there is much backstabbing and betrayal and bloodshed. If you like a good heist movie, or a fast-paced violent tale, this book may be just the thing for you. This entry is a bit different from those mentioned above, as the former primarily feature characters who chose lives of crime.
When we meet him, Blood has traded his life of soldiering and sailing for that of a country physician. After tending to a couple of fellows wounded while fighting on behalf of the Monmouth Rebellion, however, Blood is found guilty of treason and sentenced to penal servitude in the Caribbean. His eventual escape from that fate leads him to a life of piracy and swashbuckling. Captain Blood is sort of a Robin Hood figure, cast as a criminal by the corrupt officials he badgers. Readers who enjoy the novels Leslie Charteris wrote about the Saint likely will find Peter Blood to be a kindred spirit to Simon Templar.
Jack Aubrey and his friend Stephen Maturin, the physician and spy, are worth a read for their rich depictions of British nautical life during the Napoleonic Wars. This one, though, the sixteenth in the series, finds Lucky Jack and his crew doing battle with pirates.
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Wreckers, dastardly criminals who lure ships onto dangerous rocks and then plunder the wreckage, are not pirates, of course, but they live by plundering ships and so deserve a spot on this list. A young woman travels to live with her only surviving relative and soon finds herself trying to get to the bottom of the mysterious goings-on at the lonely Jamaica Inn. As dark and atmospheric as any good gothic novel and full of schemes and bloody deeds, this one is a great read for a dark rainy night.
It was written for young audiences, but The Dark Frigate is a fine read at any age. This novel is set in the 17 th Century and follows the adventures of a young man, Philip Marsham, who flees London after a horrible gun accident. He signs up as a crewman on the Rose of Devon only to see the ship later seized by pirates.
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We get pirate adventure and even a little courtroom drama as Philip and the pirate crew find themselves on trial. This novel won the Newbery Medal in and is quite the smashing read. In later life they meet and discuss their fates, this Robin who risks his own life and limb to steal from men who can fight back and this chemist Ben who enjoys the respect of his neighbors and society while surreptitiously selling watered-down medicines to improve his profit margins, and to hell with what may happen to his unlucky customers.
Advertisers: Contact Us. Via Seventh Street Books. Pirates tend to exist in the popular imagination as colorful rogues living lives of independence, but their subsistence depended upon stealing ships and goods from other people and, often, killing them.
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