The Dual-Edged Life of Mary Read

/ Sydney Kessler

Nonfiction1 min reading time

No. 1

Cover image with text going down: (pirate hat) The Dual-Edged (sword) Life of / Mary Read / as illustrated by Sydney Kessler.
Mary Read was one of the most notorious female pirates of the golden age of piracy. Image: Mary stands on the bowsprit of her ship. Read had been crossdressing since her youth so that her mother could recieve financial support from her husband's mother. Aside: Read impersonated her late older brother, who was a legitimate child of her absent father, to fool her grandmother into providing for her mother and her. Presenting as a man, she joined infamous Calico Jack's crew, plundering the west indies. As a pirate, she was 'resolute, or ready to board or undertake any thing that was hazardous.' She sailed through the Bahamas breaking skin and hearts...
Including the heart of her crewmate Anne Bonny. Anne confesses, 'the truth is, I'm a woman! And I love you!' Mary replies, 'The truth is, I'm a woman too!! And aren't you with the captain?' Calico Jack's crew was caught and sent to trial in 1720. Shortly after, Read died in prison from fever. But not before proving a woman can be as vicious as any man.