Extension History Proposal

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Fabiha Habib
Year 12 Extension History Proposal
Preliminary Research
When we were first given our extension history project tasks, I had absolutely no idea what areas I was going to research. I was going to research the Aztecs and the downfall of their empire. I was also considering researching the Amazons, but I was overcome by a whole new idea. The idea of pirates. I am a pirate fanatic, and I have seen many shows, series and movies that have portrayed pirates in different ways.

During my research on pirates, I have viewed various articles on websites. One particular website which I used is titled ‘Pirates and Privateers – The History of Maritime Piracy’, by Cindy Vallar (http://www.cindyvallar.com/pirates.html). This website had many articles on pirates, pirate treasure, ancient pirates, modern pirates, the golden age of piracy, but most of all, the romanticism of piracy.

After a few weeks of web searching, I gave up on the internet and occupied myself with the mission of borrowing books from the local library. I had also visited the NSW State Library, but I did not get much out of it since I could not borrow the books. One particular book which had caught my interest was ‘Under the Black Flag’ by David Cordingly, a pirate historian. David Cordingly explores the romanticism of pirates, focusing on the Golden Age of piracy. He “demonstrates how myths are formed- and how very much we live by them” – Caleb Carr. Cordingly talks about various writings such as ‘Treasure Island’ by Robert Louis Stevenson, and Captain Johnson’s ‘General History of Pirates’ and discusses them in sophisticated depth. He makes comparisons between the fiction and factual texts to show how the fairytales have all derived from reality.

Reading about Captain Johnson’s ‘General History of Pirates’ had gotten me to actually go look up the book. I had conveniently found one copy with an introduction by David Cordingly. Johnson’s book was written during the “Golden Age of Piracy” in...
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