Female Pirates

2921 Words Aug 3rd, 2014 12 Pages
Female Pirates
Kristina A. Paxton (Shaarda)
Excelsior College

Women have been held to have particular power over the sea. There is an ancient superstition that women are not good for ships. The contradiction between woman as sea power and woman as a sea jinx is hard to understand. Women pirates however rarely brought bad luck to a ship, they were actually very good luck, and their loss to a ship often brought an end to that ships sailing days. The women that sailed the seas came from all walks of life; there were royals such as Queen Teuta of Illyria who sailed in the 200’s B.C., as well as the Irish seafaring clanswoman, Grace O’Malley, who was practically royalty in that culture in the 1500’s. There were also illegitimate daughters
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After some time sailing she also served as a soldier in both infantry and cavalry units, very often proving braver and more courageous than her fellow soldiers. While serving as a soldier she fell in love with one of her comrades, and found a way to let him know she was a woman, and shortly thereafter they married. After they were married, Mary and her new husband left the service and set up a restaurant where their former comrades could come and eat. However, not long after they opened the restaurant Mary’s husband died and the war ended, leaving Mary with no spouse, and no income since the soldiers no longer came to eat at the restaurant. She gave up her restaurant and went back into sailing. Eventually the ship she was on sailed to the West Indies where it was captured by pirates, whom she eventually joined. Initially Mary Read had no intentions of becoming a pirate as it was something “she always abhor’d” (Defoe, 1999, p. 146), and she was not planning on staying on that ship. Her intentions to leave the ship changed when she fell in love with another pirate. Her new love had run into trouble with a much larger pirate than him, fearing the worst for her love, she picked a fight with the same pirate and scheduled him to a duel, killing him two hours before her lover was to fight him. Mary’s life as a pirate came to an end in 1720, when the ship she and her crewmates were captured and

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