Written by an eminent authority on pirate lore and literature, The History of Piracy is one of the most important books on the subject. Tracing the rise of piracy from its ancient beginnings to its ultimate demise, it leads readers down an exciting path of fortune, fame, and folly. Within this exhaustive volume on the pirate "profession," readers will encounter an unforgettable cast of plundering characters — eccentric, dramatic, but always human. Here are the maritime brigands who challenged even the most powerful nations on the high seas. From the Vikings to the Elizabethan corsairs to the buccaneers of the West, discover who these pirates were, what they did, and, ultimately, why they disappeared. A landmark in picaresque history, this classic provides penetrating detail on the world's seafaring outlaws, including their morals, codes of honor, and taboos. It's sure to satisfy the modern reader's enduring fascination with pirates and their lives. Included in this edition are four maps and seventeen illustrations from the volume's original printing.