Words To That Effect #37 | The Golden Age of Piracy

Pirates have been around for a very long time. In fact, as far we know, they have been around for as long as there have been property and boats.

What is it that attracts us to pirates and why have we got such a well-developed set of pirate tropes? Why do we all have the same picture when we think of pirates? Peg legs and eyepatches, parrots and pirate accents, walking the plank, buried treasure, the jolly roger. In fact, almost all these images come from the same short period in history: The Golden Age of Piracy.

Prof Manushag Powell, from Purdue University, joins me this week to discuss the Golden Age of Piracy, pirate literature, and the history behind the pirates of popular culture. Why do pirates say “aargh”? Did they really bury treasure? Where did the jolly roger come from? Have a listen and find out…

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