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The Buccaneer’s Realm
Pirate Life on the Spanish Main, 1674-1688

By Benerson Little

 

Buccaneers Realm Header

 

Content

Topics are as diverse as pirate swordplay, warfare on land and sea, turtle hunting, Native American relations, piracy and the slave trade, Spanish pirates and privateers, descriptions of the pirate ports of Port Royal and Petit Goave, hunting and logwood cutting, smuggling, shipwrecks and salvage, treasure hunting, and even sex. Appendices include detailed descriptions of pirate articles (“the pirate code”) and plunder, a list of pirate captains and their vessels, a discussion of the piece of eight, and other useful information. New information on pirate tactics on land and at sea, complementing that of Sea Rover’s Practice, is also included.

Flibustiers and Half Galley 1680s BNF

 

Endorsements

“A richly hued blend of compelling narrative and informed history, The Buccaneer’s Realm captures the dramatic sunset of buccaneering on the Spanish Main. With meticulous documentation, wry humor, and keen attention to detail, Benerson Little accurately portrays the last hurrah of the Brethren of the Coast—a free-minded floating society of patriotic mercenaries and self-serving rogues, accomplished sailors, and intrepid adventurers—before their final eclipse into unmitigated piracy.”

—Peter R. Galvin, associate professor of geography at Indiana University Southeast and author of Patterns of Pillage: A Geography of Caribbean-based Piracy in Spanish America, 1536–1718

 

 

“Like a large format photograph, The Buccaneer’s Realm reveals its subjects in crisp and rich detail. Benerson Little portrays with encyclopedic completeness the milieu of Caribbean sea rovers during one of piracy’s flourishing eras, ranging from the foods that went into the rovers’ mouths to the curses that came out of them, from the shores and ships the rovers plundered to the ports wherein and lusts whereon they spent their spoils. This study is a worthy companion to the author’s The Sea Rover’s Practice.”

—Michael J. Crawford, naval historian

“In Buccaneer’s Realm: Pirate Life on the Spanish Main, Benerson Little has treated this fascinating subject in admirable detail. Although piracy is pervasive worldwide and an ancient phenomenon that continues to the present day, Little focuses on its practice in two decades of the late-seventeenth century in the Caribbean. The international and multi-faceted character of the sea robbers and their activities during this classical period of buccaneering is well delineated by text, appendixes, and eight original maps.”

—Norman J. W. Thrower, professor emeritus of geography at UCLA

Boucanier et Flibustier Partenay 1688 LR

 

Reviews

“Unique and worthwhile. The Buccaneer’s Realm is well written and scholarly, laced with interesting particulars and a bit of humor. It would appeal to a wide readership, especially anyone interested in the Caribbean and Spanish America, as well as those fascinated by piracy.”

—Peter R. Galvin, New West Indian Guide, Vol. 84, No. 1 & 2, 2010

“…It is this reviewer’s opinion that The Buccaneer’s Realm serves as a very useful introduction to its chosen subject, especially if read in conjunction with Little’s earlier book on piracy. Like its forerunner, The Buccaneer’s Realm is likely to enjoy a wide readership of mixed components.”

The Mariner’s Mirror, Volume 94

“‘Cornucopia’ is the word that best describes The Buccaneer’s Realm, for there are so many facts and examples crammed into 267 pages that it’s impossible to grasp the treasures found within the book in one reading. Interspersed throughout are quotes from those who were or knew the real buccaneers, which serve to enrich this journey back in time. Anyone wishing to learn more about the buccaneers and the Caribbean of the latter 17th century should make this book a must read.”

—Cindy Vallar, Pirates and Privateers, September 2008

“…The Buccaneer’s Realm serves as a very useful introduction to its chosen subject, especially if read in conjunction with Little’s earlier book on piracy. Like its forerunner, The Buccaneer’s Realm is likely to enjoy a wide readership of mixed components.”

—H. J. K. Jenkins, The Mariner’s Mirror 94, 2009

 

“[The book] boasts an impressive range of anecdotes which will entertain “armchair adventurers” as well as provide them with a treasure trove of information… It is evident [Little] can spin a riveting tale and sweep away readers to the glory days of the Spanish Main.”

—Cheryl Fury, The Northern Mariner, October 2007

“This in-depth treatment proves to be not only very illuminating, but fascinating as well, and conveys pointedly the uniqueness of that period of world history…recommend it highly to anyone else interested in those strange times.”

Pirates Magazine, Summer 2008

 

“The book is well referenced enough to find use in an academic context, but well written enough to appeal to a general audience. At its best, The Buccaneer’s Realm provides an extremely evocative narrative that captures all the ‘romance’ with little of the cliché, offering a usefully comprehensive insight into a world that, while different from the mainstream society of the period, was no less structured, rule, and duty bound.”

—Joe Flatman, University College London, Nautical Research Journal, Summer 2008

The Buccaneer’s Realm holds up well against Little’s previous work, making two-for-two books that are truly must-haves for any true pirate scholar.”

—Bilgemunky.com, July 2008

“[T]here is little about the buccaneer’s life that is not covered in this detailed and informative book. The buccaneer’s activities, diet, dress, sex life, health, wealth, and society on the Spanish Main are explained with enthusiasm and excitement. The Buccaneer’s Realm is also a naval history, recreating numerous small sea battles between the buccaneers and the primarily Spanish ships, from treasure galleons to sloops, they attacked. Benerson Little’s earlier book, The Sea Rover’s Practice: Pirate Tactics and Techniques, 1630-1730, displayed his masterful knowledge of the subject and he brings that perspective to the sea actions of the buccaneers.[The book] is a valuable source for understanding the buccaneer’s life on land and at sea.”

—Robert H. Berlin, Journal of Military History, July 2008

 

“The author, a fencing instructor and former Navy SEAL, first became fascinated by piracy when reading Treasure Island as a lad. The second of his works on the subject…attests to the durability of his youthful fixation… As might be expected in a book by a swordsman-author, there is considerable information on edged weapons and dueling.”

—B. R. Burg, Arizona State University, Choice Magazine, September 2008

“In his new book, The Buccaneer’s Realm, Benerson Little brings this world a lot more to life for me than any other book. For those interested in pirate history, and especially for those recreating this time period, I heartily recommend [it].”

—Christine Markel Lampe, No Quarter Given, January/​February 2008

“Never, anywhere, will you find a more interesting, readable, historically accurate account of Europe’s black-market naval activities in the New World….a shining work of classic naval history, about a most unclassic—and delightfully obscure—period in the long, long tale of The Sea.”

—David Wyman, Alabama Writers Forum

 

“This work, by former Navy SEAL turned defense analyst and historian, is an excellent follow up to the author’s previous book, The Sea Rover’s Practice: Pirate Tactics and Techniques, 1630–1730…A good read for anyone interested in maritime history”

NYMAS Review, Winter 2007-2008

 

“Hollywood’s Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy has been responsible for a surge of renewed interest in the pirates of old, and Buccaneer’s Realm is a well-done welcome addition to this treasure trove of lusty history. Rich in detail with its encyclopedic completeness, Benerson Little’s compelling narrative is a fascinating read from cover to cover.”

—Edward Lundquist, Sea Classics, March 2008

“Armchair adventurers will find many more interesting accounts to fuel their imagination and expand their knowledge of the development of the New World during the final era of buccaneer glory.”

—Ann Marie Martin, Huntsville Times, December 2007

 

“In this rich and storied investigation of the pirates which emerged from the failing Spanish empire, maritime historian and author Benerson Little introduces readers to the cultural and physical environments of those who conquered the Spanish main.”

—Strand Bookstore

“It’s a lively survey recommended for any in-depth marine history collection…”

Midwest Book Review, California Bookwatch

 

“[The author] shares his fascination with the maritime world in this exploration of the culture and physical environments of the pirates who sailed on the Spanish Main.”

Reference and Research Book News

 

flibustier-with-captured-spaniard

Flibustier with captured Spaniards in chains. From the French chart “Carte particulière de la rivière de la Plata” by Paul Cornuau, probably 1684 based on a nearly identical other chart he drew of the River Plate dated 1684.

 

From the Publisher

“Little has provided another welcome addition to pirate lore….While this era and its luminaries have been thoroughly described by a host of narratives and histories over the past few centuries, Little’s contribution is unique and worthwhile for a number of reasons. Above all it is holistic…”

—Peter R. Galvin, Indiana University Southeast, author of Patterns of Pillage: A Geography of Caribbean-based Piracy in Spanish America, 1536–1718, in New West Indian Guide, vol. 84, no. 1 & 2 (2010).

“‘Cornucopia’ is the word that best describes The Buccaneer’s Realm, for there are so many facts and examples crammed into 267 pages that it’s impossible to grasp the treasures found within the book in one reading. Interspersed throughout are quotes from those who were or knew the real buccaneers, which serve to enrich this journey back in time. Anyone wishing to learn more about the buccaneers and the Caribbean of the latter 17th century should make this book a must read.”

—Cindy Vallar, Pirates and Privateers, September 2008

 

The Buccaneer’s Realm serves as a very useful introduction to its chosen subject, especially if read in conjunction with Little’s earlier book on piracy. Like its forerunner, The Buccaneer’s Realm is likely to enjoy a wide readership of mixed components.”

—H. J. K. Jenkins, The Mariner’s Mirror 94, 2009

“[The book] boasts an impressive range of anecdotes which will entertain “armchair adventurers” as well as provide them with a treasure trove of information… It is evident [Little] can spin a riveting tale and sweep away readers to the glory days of the Spanish Main.”

—Cheryl Fury, The Northern Mariner, October 2007

“This in-depth treatment proves to be not only very illuminating, but fascinating as well, and conveys pointedly the uniqueness of that period of world history…recommend it highly to anyone else interested in those strange times.”

Pirates Magazine, Summer 2008

“The book is well referenced enough to find use in an academic context, but well written enough to appeal to a general audience. At its best, The Buccaneer’s Realm provides an extremely evocative narrative that captures all the ‘romance’ with little of the cliché, offering a usefully comprehensive insight into a world that, while different from the mainstream society of the period, was no less structured, rule, and duty bound.”

—Joe Flatman, University College London, Nautical Research Journal, Summer 2008

The Buccaneer’s Realm holds up well against Little’s previous work, making two-for-two books that are truly must-haves for any true pirate scholar.”

Bilgemunky.com, July 2008

 

“[T]here is little about the buccaneer’s life that is not covered in this detailed and informative book. The buccaneer’s activities, diet, dress, sex life, health, wealth, and society on the Spanish Main are explained with enthusiasm and excitement.The Buccaneer’s Realm is also a naval history, recreating numerous small sea battles between the buccaneers and the primarily Spanish ships, from treasure galleons to sloops, they attacked. Benerson Little’s earlier book, The Sea Rover’s Practice: Pirate Tactics and Techniques, 1630-1730, displayed his masterful knowledge of the subject and he brings that perspective to the sea actions of the buccaneers.[The book] is a valuable source for understanding the buccaneer’s life on land and at sea.”

—Robert H. Berlin, Journal of Military History, July 2008

 

“The author, a fencing instructor and former Navy SEAL, first became fascinated by piracy when reading Treasure Island as a lad. The second of his works on the subject…attests to the durability of his youthful fixation… As might be expected in a book by a swordsman-author, there is considerable information on edged weapons and dueling.”

—B. R. Burg, Arizona State University, Choice Magazine, September 2008

 

“In his new book, The Buccaneer’s Realm, Benerson Little brings this world a lot more to life for me than any other book. For those interested in pirate history, and especially for those recreating this time period, I heartily recommend [it].”

—Christine Markel Lampe, No Quarter Given, January/​February 2008

“Never, anywhere, will you find a more interesting, readable, historically accurate account of Europe’s black-market naval activities in the New World….a shining work of classic naval history, about a most unclassic—and delightfully obscure—period in the long, long tale of The Sea.”

—David Wyman, Alabama Writers Forum

 

“This work, by former Navy SEAL turned defense analyst and historian, is an excellent follow up to the author’s previous book, The Sea Rover’s Practice: Pirate Tactics and Techniques, 1630–1730…A good read for anyone interested in maritime history”

NYMAS Review, Winter 2007-2008

“Hollywood’s Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy has been responsible for a surge of renewed interest in the pirates of old, and Buccaneer’s Realm is a well-done welcome addition to this treasure trove of lusty history. Rich in detail with its encyclopedic completeness, Benerson Little’s compelling narrative is a fascinating read from cover to cover.”

—Edward Lundquist, Sea Classics, March 2008

 

“Armchair adventurers will find many more interesting accounts to fuel their imagination and expand their knowledge of the development of the New World during the final era of buccaneer glory.”

—Ann Marie Martin, Huntsville Times, December 2007

“In this rich and storied investigation of the pirates which emerged from the failing Spanish empire, maritime historian and author Benerson Little introduces readers to the cultural and physical environments of those who conquered the Spanish main.”

—Strand Bookstore

“It’s a lively survey recommended for any in-depth marine history collection…”

Midwest Book Review, California Bookwatch

 

“[The author] shares his fascination with the maritime world in this exploration of the culture and physical environments of the pirates who sailed on the Spanish Main.”

Reference and Research Book News

 

In 1674, it is three years since Henry Morgan’s pirates sacked Panama. England is now at peace with Spain, and soon France, Holland, and Spain will briefly be at peace among themselves. But soon buccaneers and their French counterparts, the filibusters, will seize the opportunity of material gain presented by the far-flung and failing Spanish Empire. And Spain will produce its own notorious pirates, whose depredations against the English and French will become legend. These men of opportunistic calculation and desperate courage live in a wilder, larger, and richer time and place than any other frontier in modern history—the Spanish Main. Unflinchingly, unhesitatingly, unabashedly, they will take to the peaceful seas for riches by force of arms. The world will witness piracy on a grand scale.

While Benerson Little’s previous work showed brilliantly how pirates actually plied their trade, The Buccaneer’s Realm focuses on their cultural and physical environments. It describes not merely their deeds but their world—the New World of the Spanish Main and its many peoples, freedoms, dangers, and exploits that are the foundation of the Americas. A detailed and lively description of pirate life, it will especially appeal to readers with an interest in maritime, naval, military, and colonial history, as well as sociologists, anthropologists, and armchair adventurers.

 

Spanish frigate 1678 Cartagena B AGI

 

Associated Blog Posts

The Authentic Image of the Real Buccaneers of Captain Blood: His Odyssey by Rafael Sabatini

The Authentic Image of the Boucanier

Buccaneer Cutlasses: What We Know

Of Buccaneer Christmas, Dog as Dinner, & Cigar Smoking Women

See also the associated links on The Golden Age of Piracy page.

 

 

 

 

Copyright Benerson Little 2007-2018.

 

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