Saturday, February 12, 2011
Researching Pirate Latitudes
As I have mentioned in a prior post, I very much miss the presence of a bibliography in Pirate Latitudes. As I am currently preparing to do a discussion and analysis of the novel, a bibliography would have been very helpful. But as Pirate Latitudes was in the works for more than 30 years, Crichton may not have had a list of sources compiled. Fortunately, there is a great deal of information about Caribbean pirate history. Plus many of the characters had real-life historical counterparts (Captain Hunter was based on Henry Morgan; Lazue was based on Mary Read).
So I am researching various topics related to Pirate Latitudes: English and Spanish colonial history, privateering, the history of Jamaica and Port Royal, 17th century sailing and navigation, ship gunnery history and tactics, etc.
It’s fascinating work, but the challenge will be knowing when to stop. I read one interesting book, which references another book, which I end up reading, which references another book, ad infinitum.
The challenge will be to boil the discussion and analysis down to the most important aspects. I’m making a list of questions to answer about Pirate Latitudes.
If there is any question or topic you would like covered, please post it in the comments or email me – kahlessa at gmail dot com.