Is there any such thing as a pirate treasure map? Somewhat surprisingly, if you ask just about any academic or maritime historian with an interest in the subject, the chances are they’ll tell you no. In short, the mainstream position is that they’re all fakes, tall tales concocted by scammers to extract money from the greedy and gullible.
Well… I don’t deny that there’s an awful lot of truth in that, insofar as it does often seem that the pirate treasure hunting world (industry?) is populated almost entirely by only two classes of people – the scammers and the scammed.
But over the last year or so, I’ve been researching two very different claimed strands of pirate treasure history – the (alleged) William Kidd maps and the (alleged) Olivier Levasseur (‘La Buse’) maps. (Yes, it turns out that there are at least two versions of the Levasseur / Le Butin cryptogram… but this is all terrifically murky.) And what I’ve found is that just saying “it ain’t so” doesn’t really do these histories justice – the stories behind all of them are simply fascinating.
Anyway, seeing as International Talk Like A Pirate Day is coming up shortly, what I’ve decided to do is give an evening talk on pirate treasure maps to give all this new material a bit of a public airing.
So if you like history and/or pirates or you’re secretly an armchair treasure hunter, I’ve got some great stories for you about these mysterious pirate treasure maps you won’t have heard of or read about. I’m really looking forward to it, and I hope a good few of you can come along and be entertained.
It’s being held on Sunday 15th September 2013 at the Cornerhouse Community Arts Centre in Surbiton (not far from the A3) at 7.30pm (though the doors and the bar open at 7pm). I’ve set up the ticketing via my friend Glenn Shoosmith’s startup BookingBug, and you can book through the nifty WordPress widget in the top right of the page.
I’ll post a bit more about this as the date approaches, but that should be enough to be going on with – hope to see you there! 🙂