In their heyday, the sight of a pirate ship on the horizon would strike terror into the hearts of their intended victims. The colourful yet fearsome reputation of the pirate still resonates today and the sight of the skull and crossbones retains its thrilling power. The lives of the most famous of their brethren have been immortalised, initially in the pamphlets of the time, now in films and books. Telling the full story of piracy from the 'buccaneering era' of 17th century to the last great piratical wave of the early 19th century, this book explores the generally short and bloody life of the pirate, detailing his ship, weaponry and codes of behaviour, as well as his most famous exploits. It is the gripping tale of the violent and deadly brigands who roamed the high seas in search of plunder.