For the first two decades of the 17th century, the most notorious corsair in the Mediterranean was the legendary Yusuf Ra s. Operating out of Tunis, where he lived in a mansion built of alabaster and gold, his fleet was the scourge of merchants, navies and royal vessels from the Levant to the North Atlantic. Amassing a vast fortune and innumerable enemies it was a far cry from his early life as John Ward, a fisherman from Faversham. uch were the humble origins of many of the most feared corsairs of the time. From European runaways to Islamic sea-rovers, Pirates of Barbary is an extraordinary record of the men who terrorised the Barbary coast and beyond.Taking the individual histories of a range of these men, Adrian Tinniswood expertly recreates the twilight world of the corsair in fascinating detail; their origins, culture and practices, from pirate etiquette to intimidation tactics, as well as examining the remarkable clash of cultures that was to form in the Mediterranean straits. Stretching from Morocco through the Ottoman states of Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli, Christian and Muslim seafarers met along the length of the coast to swap religions, to battle and to trade goo
Adrian Tinniswood is a historian and educationalist. He lectures regularly in Britain and the US, and was for many years consultant to the National Trust on heritage education. He is the author of eleven books of social and architectural history including His Invention So Fertile, his acclaimed biography of Sir Christopher Wren. His most recent book, The Verneys, was shortlisted for the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction.