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A Pirate's Life for She
A Pirate's Life for She

A Pirate's Life for She

Swashbuckling Women Through the Ages

12 and UP


224 Pages, 5.5 x 8.5

Formats: Cloth, EPUB, Mobipocket, PDF

Cloth, $18.99 (CA $25.99) (US $18.99)

Publication Date: October 2019

ISBN 9781641600552

Rights: WOR

Chicago Review Press (Oct 2019)


eBook Editions Available

Will it work on my eReader?
Not Yet Published. Estimated release date: October 2019


An action-packed YA edition of Pirate Women, focusing on real-life stories with context for younger readers 

Pirates are a perennially popular subject, depicted often in songs, stories, and Halloween costumes. Yet the truth about pirates—who they were, why they went to sea, and what their lives were really like—is seldom a part of the conversation. In this Seven Seas history of the world's female buccaneers, A Pirate's Life for She tells the story of 16 women who through the ages sailed alongside—and sometimes in command of—their male counterparts. These women came from all walks of life but had one thing in common: a desire for freedom. History has largely ignored these female swashbucklers, until now. Here are their stories, from ancient Norse princess Alfhild to Sayyida al-Hurra of the Barbary corsairs; from Grace O'Malley, who terrorized shipping operations around the British Isles during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I; to Cheng I Sao, who commanded a fleet of 1,400 ships off China in the early 19th century. Author Laura Sook Duncombe also looks beyond the fact that these women are not easy heroines: they are lawbreakers. Rather than defend their illegal actions, A Pirate's Life for She tells their full stories, focusing on the reasons why these women became pirates. It is possible to admire the courage, determination and skills these women possessed without endorsing the actions for which they used them. These stories of women who took control of their own destinies in a world where the odds were against them will inspire young women to reach for their own dreams.


"A thought-provoking treatise on charting one's destiny without societal constrictions." --Kirkus Reviews

Author Biography

Laura Sook Duncombe is an author, lawyer, and feminist who enjoys Star Wars, Broadway, and Sherlock Holmes (when she's not out pirating). She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with her husband and sons. Visit her at