Facebook X YouTube Instagram Pinterest NetGalley
Google Books previews are unavailable because you have chosen to turn off third party cookies for enhanced content. Visit our cookies page to review your cookie settings.

Captain Kidd (Hardback)

The Hunt for the Truth


By Craig Cabell, Allan Richards, Graham A Thomas
Imprint: Pen & Sword Maritime
Pages: 176
ISBN: 9781844159611
Published: 27th September 2010


£14.99 RRP £19.99

You save £5.00 (25%)

You'll be £14.99 closer to your next £10.00 credit when you purchase Captain Kidd. What's this?
+£4.99 UK Delivery or free UK delivery if order is over £40
(click here for international delivery rates)

Order within the next 5 hours, 44 minutes to get your order processed the next working day!

Need a currency converter? Check XE.com for live rates

Other formats available - Buy the Hardback and get the eBook for free! Price
Captain Kidd ePub (1.7 MB) Add to Basket £4.99

The execution of Captain William Kidd on 23 May 1701 is one of the most controversial and revealing episodes in the long history of piracy. The legend that has grown up around Kidd's final voyage, his concealed treasure and the dubious conduct of his trial, has made him into one of the most intriguing and misunderstood figures from the golden age of piracy. For either Kidd was a legal privateer or he was a wicked pirate – indeed he has been described as one of the most feared pirates to sail the high seas. But his story is complex and ambiguous. This timely new account of Kidd's life and seafaring career reassesses the man and his legend – it makes compelling reading.

Craig Cabell is the author of fifteen books. He has also worked extensively as a journalist, reporter and columnist, contributing most notably to The Independent. He is a former in-house reporter with MOD Focus and has worked as a short story writer and historical advisor for radio and TV documentaries. Graham A. Thomas is the writer of six previous books including the acclaimed Operation Big Ben – The Anti-V2 Spitfire Missions 1944-45 with Craig Cabell. Graham is also a former reporter with MOD Focus and has worked extensively in radio. Allan Richards wrote VE Day – A Day to Remember and enjoyed extensive media coverage during the 60th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War. He has travelled the world and written about his experiences for travel magazines, amongst others.

When I first noticed that the book had been compiled by three authors I wondered if the book would work. It did! Everything has gelled together to give a comprehensive account of Kidd’s life at sea and the political skulduggery in Parliament that was ultimately to be his downfall. A very good book, easy to read, and personally I think the authors have left the reader to make up their own mind as to whether he was a pirate or not. My opinion, well that’s up to me to decide and for others to read the book.

Great story, historically factual and recommended.

The Nautical Magazine - March 2011

Through thirteen chapters and six appendices, the authors attempt to separate myth from reality to uncover the truth about William Kidd - who started out a pirate hunter^ but ended up executed for piracy. The authors' goal is not to tell the reader which he was, but rather to present all the facts to allow the reader to make up his or her own mind. The story unfolds at the beginning, recapping what little is known about Kidd prior to his appearance in the Caribbean in 1689.
The book includes a map of Kidd's voyages that depict his outward journey and his return, as well as the failed interception by the Royal Navy. There are several pages of black-and-white pictures, although the inclusion of two photographs of modern crafts is a questionable choice. There's a list of books for further reading, chapter notes, and an index.
One point the authors stress in the preface is that "there is no single person who is able to confirm Kidd's account from beginning to end." This statement (as well as other points) makes it difficult to know whether the truths put forth are actually that, for there remains no irrefutable evidence one way or the way to answer the question beyond a shadow of doubt. The introduction contains one misstatement: The first person to brand Kidd as a pirate was Captain Charles Johnson who wrote a biography of Kidd in his book, A General History Of The Most Notorious Pirates, which was first published in 1724.
In actuality the English East India Company, as well as the Admiralty Courts that tried him, branded Kidd as such long before Johnson's book was published. The authors' unbiased account incorporates primary documents and secondary resources. The overwhelming question of why remains elusive. Why did a respected, wealthy family man leave his loved ones and become entangled in the adventure that eventually cost him his life? Possibilities are presented, but as with the primary focus of the book - was he or wasn't he a pirate - no definitive answer is available.
For me, the more interesting portion of the book is the "Annexes" (appendices): Crew members who served with Kidd, Legend, Timeline of Kidd's maritime career, Articles of agreement, Letters concerning Kidd, Pirates and privateers: Kidd compared. Captain Kidd is logically presented and easy to follow. Readers will fid the narrative interesting, and the authors point out some of the problems with recent and not-so-recent published books. If you are in need of a good, straight-forward account of Kidd's life, career, and demise, Captain Kidd is a worthwhile resource to consult.

Private and Privateers Website, November 2010

About Craig Cabell

Craig Cabell is a journalist and author. His works include, in addition to Frederick Forsyth - A Matter of Protocol, The Kray Brothers, Dennis Wheatley - Churchill's Storyteller and VE Day - A Day to Remember (published by Pen and Sword Books).

About Allan Richards

Allan Richards wrote VE Day – A Day to Remember and enjoyed extensive media coverage during the 60th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War. He has travelled the world and written about his experiences for travel magazines, amongst others.

About Graham A Thomas

Graham A. Thomas is a historian specialising in the history of the British army and air force in the Second World War and Korea. He is currently the editor of the British Army Review, a quarterly journal on the doctrine and history of the British army. His publications include Furies and Fireflies Over Korea, Terror From the Sky: The Battle Against the Flying Bombs and Firestorm: Typhoons Over Caen. He has also written several books on naval and maritime history, including Pirate Hunter: The Life of Captain Woodes Rogers and Blackbeard: The Hunt For The World's Most Notorious Pirate.

Perfect Partner

The History of Newgate Prison (Paperback)

As the place where prisoners, male and female, awaited trial, execution or transportation, Newgate was Britain's most feared gaol for over 700 years. It probably best known today from the novels of Charles Dickens including Barnaby Rudge and Great Expectations. But there is much is more to Newgate than nineteenth-century notoriety. In the seventeenth century it saw the exploits of legendary escaper and thief Jack Sheppard. Author Daniel Defoe who was imprisoned there for seditious libel, playwright Ben Jonson for murder, the Captain Kidd for piracy were among its most famous inmates. This book…

By Caroline Jowett

Click here to buy both titles for £27.98
More titles by Craig Cabell

More titles by Allan Richards

More titles by Graham A Thomas

Other titles in Pen & Sword Maritime...