Pirates, Seafarers, Travel by Water


Pirates. For centuries they've been both the terror of the seas and romantic subject matter for creative writers and artists. They conjure up an image of fearless, daring, ruthless men (and women!), driven by lust for stolen treasures and wealth seized from ill-prepared sea travelers. While they are sometimes portrayed as swashbuckling and suave, heroes to little boys like Tom Sawyer, in fact, they were more often pictured dirty with missing teeth and a peg leg. And an eye patch and a parrot on their shoulder!
Nevertheless, their image has been preserved in countless works of art and literature. Howard Pyle is known for his Pirate art and illustrations. Daniel Defoe in the early 1700s may have been the first to capture the life of piracy in fiction, followed by others throughout the centuries, such as Robert Louis Stevenson. Even contemporary writers such as Michael Crichton couldn't resist writing their own interpretations of the life of pirates. But in fact, piracy has been around for as long as people have traveled the seas, dating back to the first century, B.C.
I happen to own quite a bit of pirate books, and will share them with you here. In addition, I am using this index to include books about seafarers. Even without being attacked by pirates, seafaring could be, and usually was a dangerous game.
Last of all, I am including the milder and more enjoyable side of water travel— floating on a gondola in Venice, a steamboat (or raft!) down the Mississippi, and even a clumsy boat outing down the Thames. Enjoy!


Frank Brangwyn Pirate Art

Pirates and Seafarers

Howard Pyle Pirate Art

San Martin, 1582


Almayer's Folly
An Antarctic Mystery
Bartleby and Benito Cereno
Billy Budd, Sailor
The Blue Lagoon
Brewster's Millions
Captains Courageous
The Country of the Pointed Firs
David Balfour, or, Catriona
Eaters of the Dead
Heart of Darkness
The Island of Dr. Moreau
The King of Pirates
The Lady of the Shroud
Lord Jim
The Master of Ballantrae
The Mystery of the Sea
The New Atlantis and The City of the Sun
The Nigger of the "Narcissus": A Tale of the Forecastle
Nordic Hero Tales from the Kalevala
Off On A Comet: A Journey Though Planetary Space
Pirate Latitudes
The Riddle of the Sands
The Romance of Tristan and Iseult
The Sea-Wolf
Treasure Island
Typee: A Romance of the South Seas


The Aran Islands
The Book of Pirates
A History of the Vikings
Narratives of the Wreck of the Whale Ship Essex


Beyond the Horizon
The Playboy of the Western World and Riders to the Sea
Three Great Plays: The Emperor Jones, Anna Christie and The Hairy Ape


The Aeneid


The Chronicles of Narnia
The Pellucidar Series

Frank Schoonover Pirate Art

Collections with at least one Pirate or Seafaring Story

Bernice Bobs Her Hair and Other Stories
The Best Supernatural Tales of Arthur Conan Doyle
The Encantadas and Other Stories
Great Horror Stories: Tales by Stoker, Poe, Lovecraft and Others
The Open Boat and Other Stories
The Secret Sharer and Other Stories
South Sea Tales
Tanglewood Tales

Unknown Artist

Wal Paget Pirate Art

Other books where water travel plays an important role


Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Around the World in Eighty Days
The Aspern Papers
The Cat of Bubastes: A Tale of Ancient Egypt
The Day of the Dolphin
Death in Venice
Deception Point
Jamaica Inn
Pudd'nhead Wilson
The Testament
Three Men in a Boat
The Tragedy of the Korosko


Everyday Life in Ancient Egypt
Life on the Mississippi
Old Ship Figure-Heads and Sterns

HMS Arethusa, 19th century

Pirates, Seafarers, and Water Travel
Art and Coloring

Books with CD-ROM

Repeatable Backgrounds: Liquids and Gels

Coloring Books

Life in Ancient Polynesia
Old Ship Figureheads

George Albert Williams Pirate Art

See Also

Polynesia, South Seas

Commerce de Paris, 18th century

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