The most common definition of piracy is, of course, the “practice of attacking and robbing ships at sea.” (The Oxford Dictionary). Even today it continues, though diminished. 263 attacks took place in 2007 with the hottest spots being the South China Sea and the Somali coast. And since, until the 1940s, the sea was the primary means of getting from one continent, and sometimes from one country, to another, piracy has been around a long, long time. Indeed, C. R. Pennell (Bandits at Sea: A Pirates Reader, 2001) reports that as early as the 14th century BC Mediterranean piracy occurred. And according to Peter Earle (The Pirate Wars, 2003), the neglected Mediterranean and Mid-Eastern pirates, have always equaled, if not exceeded, those elsewhere. Perhaps the most famous was Kheireddin Barbarssa (or “Redbeard”) (Turkish, c. 1478-1546), an interesting mix of governmental employee and outlaw. One of our stories, “The History of the Spectre Ship,” takes place in this period. Culled from more than 500 candidates, our 15 choices cover 6 piratical eras – from the early ages to modern times. There are memorable stories by Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Rafael Sabatini, Jack London, Stephen Vincent Benet, Wilhelm Hauff, Howard Pyle, Arthur T. Quiller-Couch, Lincoln Colcord, and others. This anthology is, we believe, the best collection of pirates stories ever assembled. And, after reading it, we hope you will think so too. 6×9, softcover. (496 pp; 9781935573609) $29.95.