The Life, Adventures and Piracies of the Famous Captain Singleton (1720) is a novel by Daniel Defoe.
The story is about an English boy. The gypsies (=zingari) stole him from a wealthy family and then he runs away and join a ship crew (= ciurma).
Daniel Defoe’s diary is a narration of the journey of the man in
Africa: he illustrates the tribes he meets and the welcome given to white people in the different areas of this new, big and rich continent.
Then the boy becomes a pirate, but Defoe goes on describing him more as a merchant adventurer than a real sea dog.
The work may be is not a real example of novel writing and it does not involve the reader emotively. But surely it is historically interesting: Defoe indulges on the economic and logistic aspects of life of merchants and succeed in giving a portrait of the mercantilism in his times.
Subsequently, Defoe wrote and published a non – fictional book about pirates A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the most notorious Pyrates (1724) which contains famous pirates’ biographies. This book, signed with a pseudonym, Captain Charles Johnson, is historically important as it is considered the prime source for the biographies of many well known pirates.
A General History describes life and adventures (and violent death) of the most notorious pirates of the period , focussing particularly on the figures of Blackbeard and Calico Jack. The author explains the origins of the famous pirates’ flag, the Jolly Roger: two pirates may have named it, Welsh pirate Bartholomew Roberts (1721), and/or English pirate Francis Spriggs (1723).
Defoe’s remarkable credit is to supply information on the life aboard and of influencing the following literature introducing features like missing legs or eyes and buried treasure – just think about Robert Louis Stevenson’s John Silver and J.M.Barrie’s Capatin Hook…