Some of the more useful books, etc that I have come across:
"The Buccaneers of America" by John Esquemeling
The classic account by a privateer ship's surgeon, which spawned the entire Pirate Tale genre. The link gives access to pdf and online versions. Copyright-free due to its age (1891).
"On The Spanish Main" by John Mansfield (Methuen, 1924)
"Piracy in the West Indies and its Suppression" by F.B.C. Bradlee (ISBN 0-356-04758-X)
"Collins Eye Witness Guides - Pirate" by Richard Platt (ISBN 0-7322-5070-6)
Full of photos of preserved artifacts. A great source of information for everyday items.
"Pirates and Buccaneers" by John Gilbert (ISBN 0-600-37093-3)
This 1975 chlidren's book has wonderful colour paintings. A visual inspiration.
"The Illustrated Companion to Nelson's Navy" by N Blake & R Lawrence (ISBN 0-8117-3275-4)
"The Arming and Fitting of English Ships of War 1600-1815" by Brian Lavery (ISBN 0-87021-009-2)
An in-depth reference on sailing ship armament and hull details. Expensive. The companion volume is "The Masting and Rigging of English Ships of War 1625-1860", and both are required for a full coverage of fighting ship design.
"The Masting and Rigging of English Ships of War 1625-1860" by James Lees (ISBN 0-87021-948-0)
An in-depth reference on sailing ship masts and rigging. Expensive. The companion volume is "The Arming and Fitting of English Ships of War 1600-1815", and both are required for a full coverage of fighting ship design.
"Pirates!" (Amstrad CPC) MicroProse Software
Now free to public domain, playable via emulator such as Caprice 32. (Although you might as well play the PC remake below.) However the manual is a little reference gem.
"Sid Meier's Pirates!" (PC-DVD) Firaxis Games
A remake that stays true to the spirit of the original, with modern graphics. Recommended.
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