Randy L Harvey reviews the book, The Pirate Menace - Uncovering the Golden Age of Piracy, from Osprey Publishing by author Angus Konstam.


** The Golden Age of Piracy, which spanned a few brief years in the 18th century, was a time when some of the most notorious pirates in history roamed the seas.  This was when legendary figures like Blackbeard, ‘Calico Jack’ Rackham, Charles Vane and ‘Black Bart’ Roberts threatened the established world order, played havoc with maritime trade, and instigated a reign of terror on the high seas, from the Caribbean to the shores of Africa.

The Pirate Menace tells the story from its origins among the buccaneers and privateers of Jamaica through to its heyday, when the Americas were held in thrall by pirates.  It then traces the way the authorities dealt with this burgeoning threat, and hunted the pirates down one by one, until the last of them were eradicated.  At the centre of this vast web was the port of Nassau in the Bahamas, which for a few tears was a pirate haven like no other in history.  The pirates of Nassau were at the very heart of the pirate menace. 

Angus Konstam, one of the world’s leading experts on piracy, brings his 30 years of research to this exciting new study.  Drawing on letters, memoirs, newspapers, crime reports, archaeology and the trials of the pirates themselves, he has weaved together a fascinating and definitive new history of the Golden Age of Piracy. **

** Quoted from the inside of the books dust jacket.  


Osprey Publications has released The Pirate Menace - Uncovering the Golden Age of Piracy as a 383-page hardcover book with a paper dust jacket.  Included with the text are black and white photographs, color photographs, black and white maps, detailed captions, quotes and more.  It has a 2024 copyright, a publication date of May 9, 2024, and the ISBN is 978-1-4728-5773-6



List of Illustrations in Plate Section

A Note on Time, Nation and Distance




1. Beyond the Line

2. Henry Jennings

3. Piracy in the Bahamas

4. Benjamin Hornigold

5. Profile of a Pirate

6. A Commune of Pirates

7. Edward Thatch

8. Sam Bellamy

9. Stede Bonnet

10. The Carrot and the Stick

11. Woodes Rogers and Charles Vane

12. The Pirate-hunter

13. Pursuing the Die-hards

14. The Buck Legacy

15. The Great Pyrate

16. The Enemies of Mankind





Author Angus Konstam focuses on the history of the golden age of piracy in nicely written and well detailed text.  Please refer to the Contents section of this review to learn all that is discussed in this volume. The contents section is very accurate regarding the history that Angus Konstam has written. This is a well written book that will be of great use and interest to the well-seasoned and knowledgeable pirate historian and wants to learn more or the individual that is new to the world of piracy and is looking for a great reference book.   Angus Konstam does an excellent job of detailing numerous pirates and their activities and exploits and how their reign as a pirate ended. He details all aspects of pirates throughout history such as the countries of origin of the various pirates mentioned and their crews, the types of ships used, the various type of weapons used, areas of operation, specific conflicts and their outcomes, specific cargos, etc.  In addition to the history and technical information provided the author has also included personal quotes provided by individuals from the period as well as from letters and official reports.  Personally, I appreciate the individual accounts as they provide excellent information on the book’s main subject matter and give the reader a first-hand type of account of the specific era and the subject discussed.  The text in the book is nicely written and well detailed. As I read through the text, I didn’t notice any spelling or grammatical errors.  Grammar and spelling might not be an important factor to everyone however it is something that I take notice of and pass on my findings.  I feel that if the text is well written then it shows that the author has taken the time to be a professional with their writing.  Anyone wanting to add an excellent reference and history book on the golden age of piracy to their personal library will be pleased with this very informative and interesting book.   


There are 20 black and white photographs and 16 color photographs in total.  The photographs feature period engravings and paintings as well as modern photographs.  The photographs of the period engravings and paintings provide the reader with details of period maps, the various ships and small craft used by the pirates as well as details of various weapons, gear and period uniforms and clothing. They also provide a good reference for coloring which can be used as a painting guide for modelers if so chosen. Author Angus Konstam stuck to the title of the book and chose subject specific photographs and did not include photographs that strayed from the main subject of the book. The majority, if not all, of the photographs will prove to be a wealth of information to the pirate and nautical enthusiast and the scale figure and ship modeler due to the details they contain. Some of the period images are obviously not always in scale and 100% accurate as to specific actions but I personally feel that they still do their job of providing information as there was obviously no photography equipment of any type during that period of history.  So obviously, artists were free to use artistic interpretation when they created their paintings and illustrations.


There are 5 black and white maps included.  They are of are:

- New Providence Island

- The Bahamas

- The Caribbean

- Atlantic Ocean

- The West African Coast


The captions are well written and explain the accompanying photographs and illustrations in great detail eliminating any doubt as to what is shown.  The captions go into very specific detail as to the name of the figures shown, as well as their titles, ship types, dates and locations, and other such pertinent information such as who provided the photographs.  I was very impressed by Angus Konstam’s captions as they are very helpful to the reader due to their detailed content as opposed to other captions that I have seen that are very brief and lacking in detail.   


As with the other Osprey Publishing titles I was impressed with this book.  This is a very nice reference book that contains a well written informative text, many subject specific photographs and maps, well detailed captions and more all detailing the Golden Age of piracy.  As with the other Osprey Publishing titles, I would have no hesitation in recommending this book to others as it will be a welcome addition to one’s personal library.  

Osprey Publishing also offers The Pirate Menace - Uncovering the Golden Age of Piracy as:

Ebook (Epub & Mobi) ISBN: 978-1-4728– 5777-4


eBook (PDF) ISBN: 978-1-4728– 5774-3

Osprey Publishing’s, The Pirate Menace - Uncovering the Golden Age of Piracy, is also available as an electronic Kindle version through Amazon.com.


Angus Konstam hails from the Orkney Islands, and is the author of over 80 books, 60 of which are published by Osprey. This acclaimed author has written widely on naval history, from Sovereigns of the Seas and Piracy: The Complete History to his most recent bestseller, Jutland 1916: Twelve Hours to Win the War. A former naval officer and museum professional, he worked as the Curator in the Royal Armouries, Tower of London and the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum in Key West, Florida. He now works as a full-time author and historian, and lives in Edinburgh, Scotland.


UK £25.00 / US $32.00 / CAN $42.00


This book was provided to me by Osprey Publishing.  Please be sure to mention that you saw the book reviewed here on the KitMaker Network when you make your purchase. Thank you.



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