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Sodomy and the Pirate Tradition: English Sea Rovers in the Seventeenth-Century Caribbean
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Sodomy and the Pirate Tradition: English Sea Rovers in the Seventeenth-Century Caribbean

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  116 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Pirates are among the most heavily romanticized and fabled characters in history. From Bluebeard to Captain Hook, they have been the subject of countless movies, books, children's tales, even a world-famous amusement park ride.

In Sodomy and the Pirate Tradition, historian B. R. Burg investigates the social and sexual world of these sea rovers, a tightly bound brotherhood o
ebook, Second Edition, 215 pages
Published March 1st 1995 by New York University Press (first published January 1st 1983)
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A couple of years ago, I took a History of Sexuality class. For our final project, we had to read a book from the list that my teacher gave to us. As soon I saw this book, I knew I HAD to do it. Because pirates! He assigned me my first choice then I realized I had to present to my class about pirate butt sex. That was fun.

However, this book is rather dry but Burg researched the topic well. At some points, it felt a bit like he was throwing spaghetti at the wall with his usage of sources and docu
Colin Williams
Seriously, this book has everything you always wanted to know. The chapter entitled "Buccaneer Sexuality" is of course the best, but it contains so many insights, such as that fellatio is the preferred method of male homosexual expression only in America, whereas in the UK they do something referred to in the text as "genital apposition,"* possibly because circumcision is more widespread here. Did pirates engage in fellatio? "Although the continual accumulation of smegmal matter, desquamated epi ...more
Christopher Roth
You have to love any scholarly work that contains the following methodological caveat: "The scarcity of data is due in part to the familiar problems of gathering information on homosexuality, but it is also a result of the difficulty plaguing research endeavors on Caribbean piracy. Not only was the corpse of the last potential interviewee dipped in tar and chained to a gibbet between flood marks at Wapping Stairs when George II was Kind of England, but the usual literary remnants particular to s ...more
This was an excellent scholarly study of the social conditions that led men and boys to become pirates. The previous title was "Sodomy and the Perception of Evil," which is probably more apt. It's rather a shame that such a well-researched, scholarly book may be mistaken for a larkish commentary on gay pirates. The author is aware of this, and in fact many of his fellow researchers refused to be acknowledged by name, unwilling to be associated with a topic that is still controversial. What a sha ...more
Steve Mitchell
An interesting idea but I am not convinced. The book contains some circumstantial evidence, tenuous suppositions, circular arguments and dismisses any contrary evidence as anomalous. I do not doubt that there were some homosexual pirates; but the assertion that all pirates engaged in homosexual activity by choice and by preference has not been proven by the evidence set out in this book. That said, this is still an interesting book to read in its own right.
Maravilloso exorcismo para aquellos que aún no han descubierto que la historia es ficción y que todo cuando uno hace y desea viene dictado por las fuerzas embaucadoras del lenguaje y las normas sociales, que uno anda persiguiendo mozas en lugar de mozuelos porque hace 500 años algún rey en alguna parte tuvo una idea.
Y qué belleza la de las utopías piratas.
James Miller
I was convinced that many pirates were homosexual, but not 100% that it was as endemic as he argues. The material on the social milieu was as interesting as
the material on piracy itself.
Rosemary O'Malley
I found this in a local used bookstore about 5 years ago and it was fascinating to me. I didn't find it as dry as I do most non-fiction, but that might be due to the subject matter.
Although I'm still somewhat skeptical, this book is far more theoretical and academic than I would have guessed it to be.
I had to read part of this for a seminar class. This was a funny discussion---they were dark, those pirates.

Interesting, but marred by obvious authorial bias which meant that I couldn't find him a trustworthy guide.
Amy Hirschman
Learned a lot about pirate tradition and way of life. With a smattering of homosexuality thrown in.
Okay--- how can you *not* own a book with this title? And it's a fascinating study-- good historical work.
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Barry Richard Burg (b. 1938) is a professor of history at Arizona State University.
More about B.R. Burg...
Gay Warriors: A Documentary History from the Ancient World to the Present Boys at Sea: Sodomy, Indecency, and Courts Martial in Nelson's Navy Richard Mather An American Seafarer in the Age of Sail: The Erotic Diaries of Philip C. Van Buskirk, 1851-1870 Rebel at Large: The Diary of Confederate Deserter Philip Van Buskirk

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