The Ballad of the Pirate Queens

The Ballad of the Pirate Queens

Book - 1998
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Two women who sailed with Calico Jack Rackham and his pirates in the early 1700s do their best to defend their ship while the men on board are busy drinking.
Publisher: San Diego : Harcourt Brace, 1998, c1995
ISBN: 9780152018856
Characteristics: 1 v. (unpaged) : ill. (some col.) ; 28 cm
Additional Contributors: Shannon, David 1959-- Illustrator


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FindingJane Jun 07, 2017

This ballad is about two of the most famous female pirates ever to sail the high seas. There have always been women throughout the ages who have chosen unorthodox routes to wealth and privilege or simply a higher level of living than other women. Whether they have been reviled or admired, they leave the reader secretly envying their daring, their fierce refusal to follow in the steps of other women.

In the case of this ballad, there is no comparison with other women. Instead Anne Bonney and Mary Reade work their way on their pirate ship The Vanity alongside men. The spear sex proves woefully lacking when the ship is under attack but the women manage to avoid their fate as only women can.

The illustrations are by David Shannon. His painterly talents feature impressionistic strokes that ably capture sails, clouds, waves, swords and fire et al. along with distinct but casually displayed features. Mr. Shannon knows that less means more and the roughness of his pictures are a terrific match for this story of two rough-and-ready women who must fight for their living in an uncultivated milieu that demanded flinty courage as well as flint and steel.

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