The image of the pirate never fails to capture the imagination. The cut-throat sea robbers of history who plundered richly laden merchant ships are legendary. The likes of Blackbeard, Captain Kidd and Henry Morgan are romanticised and celebrated in popular culture.
But fiction has taken the place of fact. Piracy was more brutal and rebellious than some of the best artistic depictions let on and in reality, few know the truth about this ruthless trade. What is the difference between a buccaneer and a corsair? Did pirates really bury their treasure? Is piracy still a threat to shipping today?Pirates: Fact & Fiction brings together the National Maritime Museum's rich collection of flags, weapons, maps and fine artworks to explain the intriguing history of the pirate trade. It is the first port of call for anyone keen to separate the fact from the fiction.
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