For readers of Nathaniel Philbrick and David McCullough, a riveting account of the roguish acts of the first pirates to raid the Pacific, circa 1680, in a crusade that ended in a sensational trial back in England.
The year is 1680, in the heart of the Golden Age of Piracy, and more than three hundred daring, hardened pirates—a potent mix of low-life scallywags and a rare breed of gentlemen buccaneers—gather in a remote bay of modern-day Panama. The plan: to wreak havoc on the Panamanian coastline, raiding cities, mines, and merchant ships. The booty: the bright gleam of Spanish gold and the chance to become a legend.
Inspired by the intrepid adventures of pirate turned Jamaican governor, Captain Henry Morgan, the company sets out upon one of the greatest escapades in the history of piracy, crossing the jungle isthmus of Darien, liberating a native princess, sacking the port of Panama City, and setting off a cascade of hysteria and panic as they maraud up and down the western coastline of South America.
With novelistic prose and a rip-roaring sense of adventure, Keith Thomson guides us through the pirates’ legendary two-year expedition. We witness the buccaneers evading indigenous tribes, Spanish conquistadors, and even their own English countrymen, all with the ever-present threat of the gallows for anyone captured. By fusing contemporaneous accounts with intensive research and previously unknown primary sources, Born to Be Hanged unfolds the rollicking story of one of the most astonishing pirate adventures ever told.