REVIEWS AND COMMENTS ON 'THE PIRATE HANDBOOK' ( THE PIRATE
DICTIONARY in the USA)
The Pelican Review - USA
I appreciate any book that offers us a tool to
use terms to that we can improve on any one persona or another. For
the book on hand Breverton, who lives in Wales and has a number of
books on Welsh subjects, sought terms and phrases which were in use
from the 15th to 18th centuries. But he also
adds such proper names of notable and grisly pirates, such as Rock the
Brazilian and Montbars the Exterminator.
I had a lot of fun in throwing the description of these
two characters into one of my favourite discussion groups, a living
history group dealing with people, like me, who try to recreate the
living history, seafaring past. This generated a number of responses
from my comrades, their replies centring on if they had adopted a pro
or anti Spanish persona. We all realize that the excesses of these two
characters in torturing captured Spaniards were in retaliation for the
excesses committed by the Spanish when they found some luckless souls
on the shores either by design or accident. Those could expect the
Inquisition and the resulting auto-da-fe. But life for the period
under discussion was also not placid for society in general.
Current readers with 21st century attitudes
might not come to that same conclusion. So Breverton has succeeded in
providing the general reader some idea of what it was like to have
lived at that time, in addition to providing them terms and phrases
that were in use. I commend anyone’s efforts to assemble the
magnitude of words and their origins as the author has done.
I come away from a book like this with an increased understanding of
what seafaring life was like prior to the 19th century. Those who want
to write a seafaring novel about any part of the period should
consider this an important source.
Western Mail 25th August 2004
The books which lists thousands of nautical
terms and expressions explains the origins of such phrases as Pot
Calling the Kettle Black, Cock Up, Bite the Bullet as well as Flash in
It also asks why good honest men became pirates, where did they hide
and did they, as adventure stories such as Treasure Island would have
us believe, really bury their treasure.