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The Privateer

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  39 ratings  ·  10 reviews
A historical novel about a Welsh buccaneer, Henry Morgan, who wins a series of battles against the Spaniards in the Caribbean and eventually becomes Lieutenant-Governor of Jamaica
Published (first published January 1st 1967)
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the life of Henry Morgan, the man behind the rum. Morgan was a great leader, not the blood thirsty pirate that Exquemelin painted him to be. Many books have been written about him, even Steinbeck took a turn at the legend in his first novel Cup of Gold. Body builder Steve Reeves also played him in Morgan the Pirate. Tey does a great job of capturing Morgan the man. Well researched, it is a great read for all those that love pirate adventures; read great accounts of Morgan's sack of Maracaibo and...more
Oh dear. I love Josephine Tey's mysteries. I enjoy reading about her as a character in Nicola Upson's series. But I shouldn't have bothered with this historical novel. It's made me think less of her.

The novel is about Henry Morgan, privateer and admiral. I am sure that in the 17th century people like him did believe in the superiority of the European over all other 'races' and the superiority of the English over all other Europeans. My trouble is that from reading this book I'm not sure that Tey...more
May 12, 2007 Jenne marked it as didnt-finish
I love Josephine Tey, I really do, but just, no.

Page 2 or 3 has this horribly racist thing that is put in there so casually that I can't even imagine what the rest of the book will be like.
This book caused me a lot of trouble—I was very conflicted, reading it, but couldn't help going back to it every night. Josephine Tey has been a favorite author since I was a girl. Having read the rest of her books several times each, I was surprised to discover there was one I hadn't heard of. But hadn't gotten too far in before I understood why. There is not only some extremely distasteful 'casual racism,' as some other reviewers have noted, but also casual human slaughter in the interest of p...more
A more than slightly uncomfortable read, sixty years on; I'll allow that here's very little racism in the novels written (officially) under the Tey pseudonym--this was written as Gordon Daviot. And I'm honestly not sure how much was the author's own opinion and how much the character's. But then if we can separate Orson Scott Card's opinions from that of his writing, surely we can do so here?
I have no idea how historically accurate this might be, but I enjoyed the ride. HOWEVER, her casual portrayal of slavery is quite disturbing. Of course, in those times people chortling over what to call their two new little boy slaves might well have happened ("What are you going to call him?" "I hadn't thought about it. What are you going to call yours?" "Let us call them by two related names. You know. Castor and Pollux. Hengist and Horsa. Flotsam and Jetsam."), but having this conversation ta...more
I really enjoyed this account of the life of Henry Morgan, a bold and dashing privateer and leader of men. It's always a tricky business for an author, to write a story about a real person: it has to work as a story, but it also ought to be fairly accurate. Tey does an excellent job, I think, of balancing the needs of an adventure story with the need to be truthful. The book gets a little summarize-y at the end, but, dealing with such an eventful life as Morgan's, one can forgive the author for...more
Hooded Figure from your friendly neighbourhood dog park
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I only read half of this. I didn't know it was based on a real man. As other commenters have pointed out, there's a ton of casual racism. Usually I can deal with this as I think it's ridiculous to expect authors from earlier generations to somehow be attuned to present-day morality, but the slaves who are proud and grateful to be branded with their new owner's initials... I couldn't stomach it.
Dense and not as lively as her imaginary novels
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Josephine Tey was a pseudonym of Elizabeth Mackintosh. Josephine was her mother's first name and Tey the surname of an English Grandmother. As Josephine Tey, she wrote six mystery novels including Scotland Yard's Inspector Alan Grant.

The first of these, 'The Man in the Queue' (1929) was published under the pseudonym of Gordon Daviot, whose name also appears on the title page of another of her 1929...more
More about Josephine Tey...
The Daughter of Time (Inspector Alan Grant #5) The Man in the Queue (Inspector Alan Grant, #1) Miss Pym Disposes A Shilling for Candles (Inspector Alan Grant #2) Brat Farrar

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