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A gripping insight into many Scots who ventured forth in a trade harsher than fiction but no less colourful,' - Scots Magazine Seawolves is an exciting and thorough examination of Scots connected to piracy, whether they are victims or villains, real or literary. Concentrating mainly on the legendary golden age of pirates - 1690 to 1710 - when pirate vessels not only menaced the waters of the East and West Indies, but even threatened the northern islands of Scotland. During this time, many Scots left hard lives in places like Aberdeen, Stornoway and Orkney to find fame, fortune and adventure on the dangerous high seas of more exotic locations like Madagascar, Brazil or the Caribbean. Some, like Captain James Macrae from Ayr, became well-respected pirate hunters, champions of the law upon the ocean, bravely facing violent battles and unsavoury characters. Others, such as John Gow from Orkney, were these unsavoury characters, their dastardly deeds capturing the imagination of the Scottish public. This morbid fascination is reflected in the work of Scottish writers like Daniel Defoe and Robert Louis Stevenson, with novels such as Robinson Crusoe and Treasure Island, among others, cementing the glamour and notoriety of the pirate in the public mind. Gripping, entertaining and informative, Seawolves shows a different, darker side to the famously enterprising Scot. Graham explores all these elements of Scotland's participation in piracy and provides a fascinating and enlightening account of the lifestyle of those who followed the skull and crossbones, often to their death on the gallows.
- Birlinn, November 2012
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