• Maree

Mini Review: A Pirate's Life for She by Laura Sook Duncombe

Updated: Jul 1


A Pirate’s Life for She by Laura Sook Duncombe is a young adult history book perfect for anyone who wants to read about the fierce females who braved piracy for reasons including revenge, freedom, adventure or treasure.


The Good:


-Many women pirates (and women throughout history) tend to be overlooked, especially in the past with men predominantly writing the history. This book included many women who I had not heard about. It was interesting to be introduced to them.

-This book definitely inspires women of all ages to be empowered to reach for their dreams. Pirate’s aren’t the greatest role models, but they are women leading, living in freedom and embracing their lives fully without many of the restraints of society. Not all societies in history prompt women to become only housewives or nuns. It was encouraging to read about so many in this book.

-It was helpful that the book is divided into sections according to the women’s motives: revenge, escape, glory, adventure.

-There were many era’s of history covered throughout every corner of the globe, including Scandinavia, Greece, France, New Zealand, Bahamas and the Mediterranean.

-Even though a few of these stories (or parts of stories) were myth or hearsay, this made it magical. Readers can use their imaginations.

- The women included were of all ages, many had their lives cut short, but a few lived to old age. One of my favourites—who I have read about previously—was Lady Mary Killigrew who, in her middle age, banded together a crew from her household to commandeer a ship owned by her house-guests who had taken shelter from a storm in the bay.

- Each pirate’s tale is the perfect length, especially for young adult readers. And includes enough detail to give a sufficient grasp of knowledge for each.

-There is a reading list given at the conclusion of each pirate for those who are inspired to learn more.

-The author takes into account research from many different sources and includes information from all, especially when there is speculation about a certain pirate’s demise.

-The extra information given in each section about people, history and places helps to provide effective context.

-I definitely want to read Laura’s other book Pirate Women: The Princesses, Prostitutes, and Privateers Who Ruled the Seven Seas.


The Bad:

- Only that now I want to keep researching these strong women.


Lady pirates included in this book:

-Sayyida al-Hurra (15th century, Mediterranean)

-Jeanne de Clisson (14th century, France)

-Lagertha (12th century, Scandinavia)

-Alfhild (1st century, Goths)

-Margaret Jordan (18-19 century, Ireland, USA, Canada)

-Charlotte Badger (18th century, England, Australia, New Zealand)

-Mary Read (18th century, England, Caribbean)

-Artemisia (5th century BCE, Greece)

- Teuta (2nd century BCE, Illyria)

-Rachel Wall (18th century, USA)

-Sadie Farrell (19th century, USA)

-Anne Bonny (18th century, Ireland, Caribbean)

-Lady Mary Killigrew (16th century, England)

-Maria Cobham (18th century, England, France)

-Grace O’Malley (16th century, Ireland)

-Cheng I Sao (18th century, China)



5 Stars

Read: Jan, 2020

Published: 2019



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