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The Stolen Village: Baltimore and the Barbary Pirates

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  170 ratings  ·  30 reviews
In June 1631 pirates from Algiers and armed troops of the Turkish Ottoman Empire, led by the notorious pirate captain Morat Rais, stormed ashore at the little harbour village of Baltimore in West Cork. They captured almost all the villagers and bore them away to a life of slavery in North Africa. The prisoners were destined for a variety of fates -- some would live out the ...more
Paperback, 488 pages
Published 2008 by O'Brien (first published August 18th 2006)
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Aug 27, 2013 Mae rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: ireland
What a fascinating book!!! I received this book as a gift from a good friend in Ireland. She knew of my interest in Irish history and she felt this was an area I would appreciate. It took me a while to get started because I was put off by the fact that it was a historical narrative. Narratives are books I read during the winter. In summer I like historical fiction or novels. But destiny had it that I started it during a flight-- I had no other books with me. I was so enthralled by it, I almost c ...more
Sam Beaver
It takes you back to Ireland during it's "wild west" days. It paints a picture of slavery that many are not aware and puts to words how this can be a multi-cultural phenom. It is a little bit wordy, but it was an intriguing look into a long forgotten village and reading it was worthy of my time.
I read this “novel” a couple years ago, before I succumbed to an incurable addiction to historical fiction. At the time I read mostly historical non-fiction and the occasional philosophy. Needless to say I was a stickler for historical accuracy. Because of that, this book gave me immense pleasure. The author held himself to the highest standard for accuracy, never once embellishing but, instead, providing multiple narratives for what possibly could have happened and for what the real-life figure ...more
قصي بن خليفة
قصة حدثت منذ 400 عام فيها غزو وقرصنة وأسر وعبودية وتحرير وسياسة وتجارة ، بحث الكاتب عن التفاصيل والظروف المتعلقة بهذا الغزو وما بعده فأبدع وأخرج لنا كتاباً جمع بين الرواية والتاريخ
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
في ذلك الزمان كانت القوى الأوروبية تجوب البحار الغربية وتتسيدها بدون منازع سوى من نفسها. وكان ساحل البربر والجزائر موئلاً للقراصنة والمستفيدين من القرصنة وتجارة العبيد بعلم وتغاضي من الدولة العثمانية التي بدأت بالضعف ، وكتابنا هذا يدور حول قصة اختطاف قرية ايرلندية كاملة

تعلمت من هذه الأحداث ومعانا
Frank Parker
How Barbary Corsairs Sacked an Irish Village and Enslaved its People

An early example of Islamic terrorism features in a true story of Barbary pirates and white slavery by an Irish author. An enthralling book reviewed here.

The night of 20 June 1631 saw an event so extraordinary that it is surprising that more has not been written about it. In a daring act of piracy a flotilla of Corsairs from Algiers came ashore on the coast of County Cork in Ireland, set fire to a street of thatched cottages and
This is a well written and documented book about a little known incident in history. In 1631 pirates attacked the small village of Baltimore in Ireland, capturing over 100 men, women, and children. Very few of them were ever heard from again. They disappeared into the slave market in Algiers. Des Ekin uses documents from other slaves, government documents, and letters to give a picture of what these slaves may have experienced. He found documentation on a few of the inhabitants of Baltimore that ...more
John Dwyer
This is a very interesting account of a little known event in Irish history when Barbary pirates stormed the fishing village of Baltimore in Ireland and enslaved over one hundred men, women and children. I found the most interesting part of the book was the description of white slave trade, something that I hadn't been aware of. The author also gives a well researched account of what life was like for those slaves in north Africa, some of whom rose to become wealthy and prosperous. An entertaini ...more
Mar 17, 2010 Ed rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: History lovers
Shelves: read-already
Interesting insights on 15th century life. A time when the last of the Celtic chiefs were loosing their land and anyone on the seas or near the seas could be captured by Moorish pirates and enslaved. The town of Baltimore was practically wiped out by this. Follow what thier lives during captivity would be like in the city of Algiers and find out why this town was probably picked as the target for the raid.
Pirates raid and sack an entire village. Taking it's inhabitants to a life of death and slavery in North Africa. Being of Irish decent, I found this book very interesting and disturbing. Most people have no idea that Africans were not the only one enslaved throughout history. The Turkish and Barbery (North African) pirates raided, destroyed and enslaved many European villages. Ireland was a popular target.
A truly gripping read and a fascinating history that is so often overlooked. I did not know piracy and slavery were so rife along the English, Irish and American coastlines at that time. The insight given into Arab life and also the early Irish settlements is very interesting as well.
May 06, 2009 Amber added it
This is a fantastic historical fiction about a village in Ireland ransacked by pirates from the Middle East. Ekin does a great job using the documentation available to retell the story of Baltimore, its people and how their lives were impacted.
Great read! Well-researched. You do not need to know Irish history or be into history as a subject to read this book. It reads like a fact-based novel.
A valuable addition to the history of Ireland, featuring West Cork and specifically the Sack of Baltimore - a time in 1632 when the Barbary pirates snuck into the town of Baltimore in the dead of pre-dawn and captured the townspeople and sailed them off to Algiers in horrific conditions.

I should mention I've spent a lot of time in West Cork so this book held an enormous interest for me. It is well researched and well written and adds many provable facts of which I'd not been aware.

Women were oft
Although the Goodreads title above has the title wrong (it's Barbary Pirates, not Prinates), this is one of those remainder-table treasures.
Very informative - I learned a lot. It was not easy living in the 1600s.
Frank Peters
More fun than expected, with an special surprise at the end.
Fascinating period of history that I knew nothing about.
I saw this book on a trip home to Cork. I have visited Baltimore a few times and like the spot, so I was surprised to here of a pirate raid in the 1600s that carried off 100+ native people to be slaves in Africa. there is a pub in town, the Algiers, that is named as a reminder of the event.

The book attempts to document what actually happened, the lead up to the raid and the people and what became of all involved . Unfortunately it appears from the historical records only 3 people of the 107 capt
Joel Trono-Doerksen
This book frustrated me on a number of levels. Firstly the author continuously refers to the Barbary corsairs as "Islamist invaders". The attempt he makes to try and link modern Muslim terrorists to the Barbary corsairs is quite pathetic. Our modern understanding of the word "Islamist" is a group of people who want to establish their idea of sharia law in a country and either use violence or politics to obtain that goal. These type of people would not appear or be successful until Khomeini's rev ...more
Cecelia Hightower
This book is what I call a historical novel. It relates known facts about an actual event and fills it in with information from other resources about other events.

Just before daybreak on Monday June 20, 1631 troops of the Turkish Ottoman Empire and pirates from North Africa raided the town of Baltimore, Cork County Ireland, located at the Southwest corner of Ireland. One hundred and seven men, women, and children were captured with the loss of life of an additional 23 citizens.

The story turns t
Nicholas Whyte[return][return]On 20 June 1631, pirates from Algiers descended on Baltimore in County Cork and kidnapped over a hundred of its inhabitants, most of the population, bringing them back to Africa and selling them into slavery. Ekin describes this as 'the most devastating invasion ever carried out by the forces of the Islamist jihad on Britain or Ireland', and while I regret that he asserts the jihadism of the pirates, who were clearly less interested in relig ...more
Gayla Napier
Wonderful book lent to me by my friend Patricia. It highlighted for me how fast your life can change and that no matter how we plan we do not know what the future might bring. This book is a fascinating look at a point of time in history. The author has done an amazing job of bringing it to life.
Very well written.
I would love to think this book may have been worth a thumb through, but it is completely obscured by the tabloid style of the Sunday World qualified author. Some interesting information, some very good research, a whole lashing of speculative accounts of piracy used misleadingly and in the end a very poor book. The writing and descriptions are sensationalised and woeful. Shame.
Interesting story, but I think Erik Larson has spoiled me for historical writing. I felt like the story of Baltimore was interesting, and the story of life as a pirate's captive/slave in Morocco was interesting, but that the sum of the two was a bit less effective. Overall, though, I learned quite a bit, and was not bored by the book in the telling of the story/stories.
I enjoyed this even though at times, it was rather mundane. I wish the author could have found out more about what happened to the Baltimore villagers. Of the two women that were returned to the village, I was expecting more to be told about their lives. Maybe if they had been men, there would have been more information on record.
John E
More a history of the Ottoman world than the people stolen from Baltimore. I learned much of the ways of the Turks and the Christian world and their interactions. Great, easy read. A little distracting at the end with his speculation of "vile people during vile times."
Oct 06, 2008 Tanya is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I am currently reading this book and it is a bit difficult to read for long periods of time as it reads like a history book but I must say I am enjoying this little slice of the past
really interesting book, had no idea that Ireland was invaded by Barbary pirates and an entire village taken into white slavery. fascinating. but terribly written.
liked it quite a bit, could have been written better, but super interesting
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Des Ekin is an Assistant Editor with The Sunday World. As well as researching investigative news articles, he writes a popular column that reaches more than a million readers every weekend. He was born in County Down, Northern Ireland and spent a decade reporting on Troubles in Northern Ireland before moving to Dublin, where he now lives with his wife and three children.
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