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Piracy News & Commentary

Pirate Literature on Display

It is rare indeed these days to be able to view the original works of pirate literature that have influenced our image of the pirate, however accurately and inaccurately. Yet all is not lost. "Pirate Treasures: An Exhibition of Maps & Books from the Special Collections of Boston College’s John J. Burns Library" has temporarily rectified the situation. The exhibition is displaying rare maps and books relating to piracy, including Alexandre Olivier Exquemelin's Histoire des Adventuriers Filibustiers, qui se sont Signalez dans les Indies (1699), whose English edition is better known as The Buccaneers of America, and William Dampier's New Voyage Round the World (1698). Exquemelin was a buccaneer surgeon during the 1660s and early 1670s; he later returned to the Caribbean as part of the French expedition against Cartagena in 1697, and may have returned briefly in prior years as well. Dampier was variously a buccaneer, naval officer, privateer, explorer, and naturalist from the 1670s until the early eighteenth century. Their books remain some of the principal primary sources on the Golden Age of piracy on the Spanish Main, and make for fascinating reading. The maps and works on display range from 1695 to 2007.

My many thanks to exhibit curator Shelly Barber for forwarding me notice of the exhibition. Read more about it at Boston College Pirate Treasures exhibit and Pirate Treasures flyer. Or better yet, visit it. The exhibition runs through November 2008.
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