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Jamaica, Maroons, and the Golden Age of Piracy

Discussion in 'Research' started by KindredQuill, Oct 8, 2015.

  1. KindredQuill

    KindredQuill Acolyte

    I've been bouncing around an idea for a historic pirate fantasy taking place in the Caribbean and set in the early 1700s. As of right now the concept's two main characters are a captain from the Spanish Armada who's been disillusioned by the decline of the Spanish Empire and turned to piracy and a runaway slave from a sugarcane plantation.

    Jamaica has a fascinating (and bloody) history revolving around slavery, with numerous revolts and the formation of the Maroons in the center of the island. I don't know whether or not I want this second character to have been involved with the Maroons or not prior to the start of the novel, but she would definitely be aware of them.

    Something else I need help with: The tactics of the Spanish Armada. I want this captain turned pirate to be skilled at what he does and am only vaguely aware of the tactical differences between the Spanish, the French, and the English fleets.

    Any information regarding these subjects would be very much appreciated!
  2. X Equestris

    X Equestris Maester

    Let me say this: you would be best served calling the Spanish Navy the Spanish Navy. Spanish Armada, while technically correct, conjures up images of the fleet sent against England in the late 1500s.
    Zadocfish likes this.
  3. KindredQuill

    KindredQuill Acolyte

    Appreciate it! Always better to have the time period's appropriate terminology.
  4. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

    A relevant tidbit from memory, though pertaining more to the English than the Spanish:

    When it came to exchanging broadsides, the English targeted the hull of the enemy vessel - intent to sink. Others targeted the decks - intent to kill the crew and bring down masts. (Might have that backwards, its been a long time.)
  5. M P Goodwin

    M P Goodwin Scribe

    I would advise reading the first few novels of the Aubrey/Martin tales by Patrick O'Brian as he really did his research into navel warfare and sea life generally. I would also offer up reading a non-fiction entitled Pirate Utopias by Peter Lamborn Wilson (ISBN 1-57027-024-4), it is an excellent insight to the piratical mindset during the same period.
  6. I'd recommend reading Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton. It was published shortly after he died, and he didn't get through many drafts, so it's a little jarring and feels like scenes are abrupt. But it's a good book, and he really did his research regarding piracy.

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