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  • Published: 31 May 2011
  • ISBN: 9781446468623
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 368

Pirates Of Barbary

Corsairs, Conquests and Captivity in the 17th-Century Mediterranean

The incredible, action-packed secret history of Barbary Coast piracy in the 17th century, by the author of the acclaimed The Verneys

From the coast of Southern Europe to Morocco and the Ottoman states of Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli, Christian and Muslim seafarers met in bustling ports to swap religions, to battle and to trade goods and sales - raiding as far as Ireland and Iceland in search of their human currency.Studying the origins of these men, their culture and practices, Adrian Tinniswood expertly recreates the twilight world of the corsairs and uncovers a truly remarkable clash of civilisations

Drawing on a wealth of material, from furious royal proclamations to the private letters of pirates and their victims, as well as recent Islamic accounts, Pirates of Barbary provides a new perspectives of the corsairs and a fascinating insight into what it meant to sacrifice all you have for a life so violent, so uncertain and so alien that it sets you apart from the rest of mankind.

  • Published: 31 May 2011
  • ISBN: 9781446468623
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 368

About the author

Adrian Tinniswood

Adrian Tinniswood OBE FSA is the author of fifteen books on social and architectural history, including Behind the Throne: A Domestic History of the Royal Household; The Long Weekend: Life in the English Country House Between the Wars, a New York Timesand Sunday Times bestseller; His Invention So Fertile: A Life of Christopher Wren and The Verneys: a True Story of Love, War and Madness in Seventeenth-Century England, which was shortlisted for the BBC/Samuel Johnson Prize. He has worked with a number of heritage organisations including the Heritage Lottery Fund and the National Trust, and is currently Senior Research Fellow in History at the University of Buckingham and Visiting Fellow in Heritage and History at Bath Spa University.

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Praise for Pirates Of Barbary

Tinniswood's absorbing book is packed with bad characters, big fights and breathless chases

Peter Lewis, Daily Mail

Tinniswood narrates this story with brio and bravura, displaying an excellent eye for the theatrical detail and juicy episode

Maria Fusaro, BBC History Magazine

Adrian Tinniswood is a masterly writer of history with a gift for slamming his readers into the thick of the action

Jason Goodwin, Literary Review

This rollicking book unpicks a confusion of names, dates and places to produce a fascinating history of seabourne conflict.

Christopher Hudson, Daily Telegraph

This exciting book proves that such obscurity is both surprising and undeserved

James McConnachie, The Times

A thrilling account

The Sunday Telegraph

Fascinating book

Kathryn Hughes, Mail on Sunday

Skilfully evokes the dread that corsairs aroused

Ludovic Hunter-Tilney, Financial Times

Tinniswood's artful blend of narrative and analysis brings the pirates' society to life. Beneath the vivid surface of this book there lie, sometimes obscured by the vividness, the careful investigation and astute judgement of one of the most incisive of our popular historians.

Blair Worden, Spectator

North African pirates were the scourge of the 17th century, and plundered as far as Cornwall. Tinniswood tells their story with verve

Keith Lowe, Telegraph

The author's style is an absolute joy and his stories of attacks, based in eyewitness accounts, make rather more thrilling than many fictional thrillers are... He also proves an even-handed judge. While there's no attempt to whitewash the privateers here, there are explanations of what caused men to turn their hand to conquering the seas.

Robert James, The Book Bag

This well-researched history of piracy presents brutal seafaring extortionists instead of eye-patched rascals.

Benjamin Evans, Telegraph Seven Magazine

Tinniswood unearths colourful characters and historical oddities while pointing out that the West's inability to deal with Somali pirates show how little we've learned in 400 years


Meticulously researched history of unrestrained murder, robbery and kidnapping on the high seas... This is a brisk, entertaining story, with royal proclamations, letters, maps and lavishness illuminating Tinniswood's vivid tales.

Lorraine Courtney, Irish Times

[He] has unearthed many colourful characters and historical oddities and uses eyewitness accounts to weave a fascinating tale

Chard & Ilminster News

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