My fascination with pirates began long before I ever read "Treasure Island" or saw any of the versions of Peter Pan. My curiosity commenced when, as a seven or eight year old scanning the bookshelves in our living room, I stumbled on a book that isn't especially well remembered today: "Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates" (1921). There it was snugged on the shelf, a black cloth bound volume with the pirate title emblazoned on the spine above an etching in gold of a sack of coins and a pistol.
Howard Pyle's illustrations of "bucanneers and marooners of the Spanish main" haunted me and fascinated me and probably set me on my way toward trying to deliver an authentic history of a pirate. Here are a few of the images scanned directly from our family copy (images that have fallen into the public domain).
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