The most successful pirate of all time - Dian Murray
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This was a far cry from the situation in European and American waters, where even the presence of women onboard was considered bad luck. As a result, female seafarers in Western history have been few and far between. However, the two most famous female pirates of piracy’s Golden Age (1630-1730) include Anne Bonny and Mary Read. Both women caught the attention of the era’s major chronicler, Captain Charles Johnson, who positioned their names front and center on the title page of his epic A General History of the Pyrates.
This anthology, with lengthy biographies of the most famous pirates of the Golden Age, has defined piracy in the modern era and served as the model for many of the most famous pirates of both history and literature. Many of the central historical figures have found new life as the romanticized heroes and villains of popular culture: Edward Teach (Blackbeard), Jack Rackham (Calico Jack), and Bartholomew Roberts (Black Bart). Since its first publication in 1724, the tome has received considerable attention from historians and literary authors alike. They continue to do so today, where popular culture abounds with pirates of both fact and fiction.
Yet, in China, Madame Zheng has been virtually absent from the historical record. Ironically, it is in the United States—and not China—where Madame Zheng’s legacy is most alive and well today. She is seen as a historical figure in her own right; as a denizen of the pirate fanciers of internet popular culture; and as the inspiration for Mistress Ching in the third Disney movie, “Pirates of the Caribbean at World’s End” (2007), where she was played by Takayo Fischer.
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