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Pirate Royal by John and Patricia Beatty

Faceless in the dim light of a half moon, a man hurtles out of the shadows, claps a hand over Anthony Grey’s mouth and lifts him off the ground. A second man gags him and binds his wrists.

These few seconds on a night in 1668 completely change the course of Anthony’s life. As a bondservant to a Boston tavern keeper Anthony has been keeping the accounts and entertaining the customers by doing sums in his head. It is for this skill that he is kidnapped and carried off to Port Royal, Jamaica, where he is pressed in to service as clerk to the notorious buccaneer Henry Morgan.  For ages 11 and older, or aspiring pirates of all ages!



“Rags to riches with a slight twist. Anglican Anthony Grey, apprenticed to a silversmith by a Puritan uncle, is wrongly accused of theft and sent to the Massachusetts Bay colony as a bondservant; he buckles down in Boston, then is snatched and taken to buccaneer Henry Morgan to serve as clerk. Based at Port Royal, he earns his fortune in The Brotherhood by accounting for and doling out the booty under Morgan’s much-pleased eye. The “Admiral” and his papist-hating English are somewhat less severe to the Spaniards than is customarily represented, although Anthony deplores the wrongs inflicted on women and children. He accompanies Morgan to London and an audience with King Charles II (after the capture of Panama), clears up his record, would face a future with wealth, power and prestige; but an old enemy shows up and Anthony wins the duel but loses the favor of the king. So it’s back to the books with Morgan, now Lieutenant-Governor, and a safe future despite the slightly tarnished image. Only that mishap saves him from the innocent-victim category but even there his motivation is pure.”
— Kirkus Reviews
We read the Beatty’s Pirate Royal looking for a real pirate story and we found one! The Beattys are terrific writers of Historical Fiction and Pirate Royal really comes to life with incredible detail and accuracy. We then went on to read The Black Buccaneer by Stephen Meader for a look at pirates on the coast of Maine. We did not know Maine had a piratical past!
— HistoricalFictionBuff