Pirates in English Literature

Claire Jowitt (Editor), Manushag Powell (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issuepeer-review


Literature about pirates remains one of the most enduringly popular topics for adults and children alike. In recent years, key works in pirate studies have discussed piracy and pirates as cultural intermediaries, as actors in both the formation and destruction of national and imperial identities, and as transnational and transoceanic mediators of global geo-political forces. Pirate literature is an equally diverse and energetic genre, producing notable novels, poetry, and drama, as well as other, hybrid, and experimental literary forms. Pirate literature is both multicultural and multilingual, and has been a focus of human creativity across time.

This Special Issue on Pirates in English Literature explores and interrogates similarities and differences in how pirates and piracy are represented across historical periods. ‘English’ literature is interpreted capaciously, to include works of translation and works that engage issues of cultural and linguistic transmission. It includes comparative treatments of piracy and pirates and essays discussing non-traditional literary forms, including travel writing and the literature of exploration and trade.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Pirates
  • Caribbean
  • Barbary
  • Privateers
  • Sea Dogs
  • Treasure
  • Buccaneers
  • Corsairs

Cite this