Pirates are an enduring popular subject, depicted often in songs, stories, and Halloween costumes. Yet the truth about pirate women—who they were, why they went to sea, and what their lives were really like—is seldom a part of the conversation. In this Seven Seas history of the world’s female buccaneers, A Pirate's Life for She tells the story of 16 women who through the ages who sailed alongside—and sometimes in command of—their male counterparts. These women came from all walks of life but had one thing in common: a desire for freedom.
History has largely ignored these female swashbucklers, until now. Here are their stories, from ancient Norse princess Alfhild to Sayyida al-Hurra of the Barbary corsairs; from Grace O’Malley, who terrorized shipping operations around the British Isles during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I; to Cheng I Sao, who commanded a fleet of 1,400 ships off China in the early 19th century.
Author Laura Sook Duncombe takes an honest look at these women, acknowledging that they are not easy heroines: they are lawbreakers. A Pirate's Life for She tells their full stories, focusing on the reasons they became pirates. It is possible to admire the courage, determination, and skills these women possessed without endorsing her actions. These are the remarkable stories of women who took control of their own destinies in a world where the odds were against them, empowering young women to reach for their own dreams.
About the Author
Laura Sook Duncombe is an author, lawyer, and feminist who enjoys Star Wars, Broadway, and Sherlock Holmes (when she’s not out pirating). She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with her husband and sons.
"In A Pirate's Life for She Laura Sook Duncombe succeeds again in her quest to balance the books of pirate history by showing that women were indeed as capable as men in militant seafaring and piratical enterprise." —Benerson Little, author of The Golden Age of Piracy: The Truth Behind Pirate Myths
"Girls who read A Pirate's Life for She get to peek into the less conventional lives of some historical women led, when piracy offered a way out of the constraints of their times." —Daphne Olive, host of Fathoms Deep, a Black Sails podcast
"A Pirate's Life for She is a book full of incredible tales, rich history, and personal pathos. The author has succeeded in every way at capturing what it means to fight for our lives as women...and thereby feel like a bit of a pirate. What a fantastic swashbuckling feminist collection of important adventures." —Lyndsay Faye, author of Jane Steele
“A thought-provoking treatise on charting one's destiny without societal constrictions.” --Kirkus Reviews