Daniel Defoe

Pitcairn Island, 1957

Living on Pitcairn showed me that island life is no paradise

22 June 2019 9:00 am

Islands have a special appeal. We imagine that on an island we’ll somehow ‘get away from it all’. In the…

‘He strikes me dumb with admiration.’ Van Gogh on Howard Pyle’s pirate illustrations

The facts – and fiction – of piracy

17 November 2018 9:00 am

Avast there, scurvy dogs! For a nation founded on piracy (the privateer Sir Francis Drake swelled the exchequer by raiding…

According to legend, the cross-dressing 18th-century Irishwoman Mary Read outdid her fellow male pirates when it came to pure violence

The pirate myth

23 November 2013 9:00 am

Hear the word ‘pirate’ and what picture springs to your mind? I see a richly-bearded geezer in a tricorne hat…