Monday, May 7, 2018

The Whydah: A pirate ship feared, wrecked & found by Martin W. Sandler

Readers who like stories of pirates and treasure hunts will be intrigued by this meticulously-researched historical story of pirates, treasure, and the history of many people who were involved in the story.

The story begins with the capture of the slave ship Whydah by pirate Black Sam Bellamy. After many adventures, and heavily burdened with loot, the Whydah returned to the dangerous Cape Cod coast where it was wrecked. The survivors were tried as pirates; some were executed, a few were pardoned. The story was over. Or was it? A long tradition of looting wrecks added to the many stories surrounding the Whydah and Bellamy and over the years many attempts were made to find the hidden treasure. Finally, in the 1980s, more than 200 years after the wreck, marine archaeologists discovered the wreck and a bounty of historical information, as well as some of the original treasure.

Besides the basic history, there's a lot of information packed into this book. Explanations of the culture and behavior of pirates in the 1700s, discussions of the slave trade and the various occupations and possible stories of the pirate crew, technological advances in archaeology, the controversies around treasure-hunting, all this and more are included in the story. Copious back matter adds to the story as well as original documents, photographs, and maps.

Verdict: The fast-paced, narrative sections of this history will draw in even reluctant readers who will find much to interest them in the wide range of history, technology, and social information included in this book. Recommended.

ISBN: 9780763680336; Published 2017 by Candlewick; Purchased for the library

No comments: