Voluntaries and Sea Robbers: a Review of the Academic Literature on Privateering, Corsairing , Buccaneering and Piracy

By David J. Starkey, published February 2011


The century since The Mariner’s Mirror was first published has seen hundreds of publications on the subject of privateering, corsairing, buccaneering and piracy. Starkey traces the work done on what constituted ‘within the law’ activities including reprisals, prize-taking and privateering. The literature has demonstrated that privateering was a significant factor in activity at sea until the late nineteenth century. The article then examines the works dealing with ‘beyond the law’, showing the origins, legal status and political significance of pirates. Finally Starkey considers the role of ‘outside the law’ in literature, before exploring the future.

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Filed under: Other (Early Modern) | Other (Nineteenth C) | Other (Eighteenth C) | Other (location)
Subjects include: Pirates, Corsairs & Privateers

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