Erotica author, aka Elspeth Potter, on Writing from the Inside

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Researching Pirates

The novel I'm currently writing has pirates! I am very excited by this, as pirates are a classic element in romance novels.

Here's what I've been reading so far, as research. Links are to

I started out with this one, a long time ago: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Pirates.

This collection of essays takes a much more academic approach. Bandits at Sea: A Pirates Reader.

I can't recommend this book enough, if you're interested in historical pirates in Asia: Pirate of the Far East: 811-1639.

This is perhaps the most valuable book I've found so far, overall: Pirates!: Brigands, Buccaneers, and Privateers in Fact, Fiction, and Legend.

This seemed to be the most detailed of the books on women and piracy: Seafaring Women: Adventures of Pirate Queens, Female Stowaways, and Sailors' Wives.

This will probably be my next purchase: Pirates, Prostitutes and Pullers: Explorations in the Ethno- and Social History of Southeast Asia.

I don't have this one yet, but it is completely tempting even though it's not relevant to my book: Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean: How a Generation of Swashbuckling Jews Carved Out an Empire in the New World in Their Quest for Treasure, Religious Freedom--and Revenge.

Please let me know if you have any recommendations!


  1. Thanks for these! I have a cameo appearance of a pirate in short story I'm currently working on and a couple years back I finished the draft of a pirate novella that I hope to get back to so these are great resources.

    Have you taken a look at Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates? Another book I came across was The Pirate Primer: Mastering the Language of Swashbucklers & Rogues.

  2. You're welcome. :) I've been wanting to buy The Pirate Primer ever since it first came out. As much for the pirate terminology as for the fact I love collecting books about words and slang.