David Cordingly


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The United Kingdom
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David Cordingly is an English naval historian who is considered one of the leading authorities on pirates. He held the position of Keeper of Pictures and Head of Exhibitions at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England for twelve years.

David Cordingly organised several exhibitions at the National Maritime Museum, including Captain James Cook, Navigator and The Mutiny on the Bounty. Perhaps the most notable of these exhibitions was Pirates: Fact and Fiction [1], which became a critical and popular success, followed by a book of the same title, authored by Cordingly and John Falconer. The popularity of the exhibition lead Cordingly to explore the subject further in his book Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Am
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Average rating: 3.72 · 9,532 ratings · 822 reviews · 34 distinct worksSimilar authors
Under the Black Flag: The R...

3.68 avg rating — 6,831 ratings — published 1995 — 19 editions
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Cochrane: The Real Master a...

really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 608 ratings — published 2004 — 16 editions
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Seafaring Women: Adventures...

3.62 avg rating — 368 ratings — published 2001 — 17 editions
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The Billy Ruffian

4.07 avg rating — 207 ratings — published 2003 — 8 editions
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Pirate Hunter of the Caribb...

3.57 avg rating — 203 ratings — published 2011 — 10 editions
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Pirates: Terror on the High...

3.95 avg rating — 73 ratings — published 1996 — 2 editions
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Pirates: Facts and Fiction

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 8 ratings — published 1992 — 2 editions
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Pirates: An Illustrated His...

3.88 avg rating — 8 ratings — published 1920 — 6 editions
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Capt. James Cook: Navigator

really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 3 ratings — published 1988
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Complete Book of Maritime D...

2.50 avg rating — 2 ratings — published 1998
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“Morgan was sent copies and decided to sue both publishers for libel.”
David Cordingly, Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates

“Their activities reached a peak in the early years of the nineteenth century, when a community of around forty thousand pirates with some four hundred junks dominated the coastal waters and attacked any merchant vessels which strayed into the area. From 1807 these pirates were led by a remarkable woman called Mrs. Cheng, a former prostitute from Canton.”
David Cordingly, Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates

“The most impressive naval career of all the female sailors is that of William Brown, a black woman who spent at least twelve years on British warships, much of this time in the extremely demanding role of captain of the foretop. A good description of her appeared in London’s Annual Register in September 1815: “She is a smart, well-formed figure, about five feet four inches in height, possessed of considerable strength and great activity; her features are rather handsome for a black, and she appears to be about twenty-six years of age.” The article also noted that “in her manner she exhibits all the traits of a British tar and takes her grog with her late messmates with the greatest gaiety.”

Brown was a married woman and had joined the navy around 1804 following a quarrel with her husband. For several years she served on the Queen Charlotte, a three-decker with 104 guns and one of the largest ships in the Royal Navy. Brown must have had nerve, strength, and unusual ability to have been made captain of the foretop on such a ship….The captain of the foretop had to lead a team of seamen up the shrouds of the foremast, and then up the shrouds of the fore-topmast and out along the yards a hundred feet or more above the deck….

At some point in 1815, it was discovered that Brown was a woman and her story was published in the papers, but this does not seem to have affected her naval career….What is certain is that Brown returned to the Queen Charlotte and rejoined the crew.”
David Cordingly, Seafaring Women: Adventures of Pirate Queens, Female Stowaways & Sailors' Wives

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