Wednesday, May 14, 2014

At the Point of a Cutlass: The Pirate Capture, Bold Escape, and Lonely Exile of Philip Ashton by Gregory N. Flemming

Pirates have always fascinated me.  I guess renegades of all kinds appeal to me.  I don't want to be them, meet them, or live with them, but I love reading about their escapades.  They are more honest about stealing from people than the corporations we have around nowadays.

ForeEdge and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book (thank you).  It will be published June 3rd, so check with your local bookstore then to get a copy.

What drew my interest in this book was the fact that Philip Ashton had kept a diary...

It's thought that Mr. Ashton's diary inspired Defoe's book about Robinson Crusoe.  Crusoe was fictional, this book is all factual.

Philip was nineteen years old when he was put into service by the pirates.  They wanted him to adopt the pirate code and become one of the crew, but he refused.  This made him subject to beatings by everyone, gave him the worst food, and gave him the dirtiest jobs on the ship, but he stuck to his guns and refused to join.  He also ran as soon as he had a chance.  The fact that it was spur of the moment and he had no shoes, no food, no supplies and not much more than pants on didn't matter.  Freedom was what counted.  After the ships left with their fresh water barrels refilled, he then had to overcome his hunger.

How he lived was nothing to envy, but live he did.  And when help comes, he almost gets caught by the pirates again.

Philip's story is very interesting.  I thought Blackbeard was the worst of the pirates, but the ones you're introduced to in this book are even worse.  These men weren't nice and insanity played a part in the torture they put captured sailors through.

This book is filled with historical facts about pirating and would help anyone who is researching that history.  If you have a fascination with pirates or castaways, this book fits that bill, too. 

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