Sunday, November 16, 2008

54. Sea Queens

The title:
Sea Queens: Women Pirates Around the World
The author: Jane Yolen
Publication:Charlesbridge, 2008
Got it from: The library

I have to admire Jane Yolen. Not only is she an awesome writer, she has a backlist of something like 300 titles. Seriously, this woman is the Nora Roberts of the children's/fantasy world. No, wait. Nora Roberts is the Jane Yolen of the romance world.

I didn't actually realize this was a Jane Yolen book until I took it home (Jane Yolen: Codename SHE'S EVERYWHERE). I was mainly interested in reading about women pirates, a subject which I know almost nothing about but was only too eager to learn. But Be Ye Warned: this is a children's book, so it's not like there are detailed histories. In fact, much of what we know about pirates is heresay and old salt talk, so there's not a lot of material to work with as it is. In general, this is a very excellent overview of the history of women's pirates. I had never heard of most of them, except of course for good old Grace O'Malley (Granuaile Mhaol!) and I think somewhere in the back of my mind I vaguely recalled Anne Bonney and Mary Read. A lot of these women had very rough lives, and disguised themselves as men to get ahead. Sometimes they were found out, sometimes (and I'm still not sure how this could happen) they didn't. As one woman noted, she knew Anne and Mary were women "by the largeness of their Breasts." A dead giveaway, I would have thought. Guess everyone else was thinking: man boobs!

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