Whilst we all soak our knickers with the cinematic masterpiece of Pirates of the Carribbean and it’s zombie pirate monkey over on certain other FT associated blogs, let us not forget the grebt historical precedents of pirates in wot one might call HEM HEM classic lit. Whilst I would never suggest that we should not give Mr. D. Defoe his dues for his book on pyrates inc. BLUEBEARD, the selection that classicklit dot com suggests falls shoddily short by not including a certain story by the Henry Rollins of the early 1900’s, William Hope Hodgson.

Far before Orlando Bloom was ARRsing about being a pirate, William Hope Hodgson (WHH for short, wouldn’t you think) wrote not only The Ghost Pirates but also a large selection of ph34rs0m3 good ole SEAFARING FICTION. Sadly, Ghost Pirates is the most rubbish of them all despite a fantastic title. The large majority of WHH’s books feature an incredibly huge range of boggly eyed and hideous monsters that could easily be lurking in the vortex lurking down at the bottom yr garden underneath the shrubbery (this from The House on the Borderland which features no pirates but however includes SWINE CREATURES and an incredible trip through time and some ‘green orbs’ yeah yeah whatever you say Mr WHH). HP Lovecraft also called him “a classic of the first water”. Do you SEE??

Another book of his which doesn’t feature PIRATES and able seamen (I said seamen) is THE NIGHT LAND which proves a remarkable abillity to break with tradition by being EVEN MORE MENKO than ghost pirates, swine creatures and the disappearence of the sun combined. Written in cod-17th C langwidge, the protagonist lives first of all in Olde Englande and falls in love with a Lady. Isn’t that always the way? Bloody women. Later on he goes to sleep, and awakes in the future, where he is the resident psychic of a pyramid where refugees from an Earth taken over by Dark Creatures wander about being stinking old hippies by the looks of things. Skip to the end, and he goes on a mission throughout the wilderness, searching for someone who may be his old love, also awakened into the future, in an attempt to rescue her and her group of settlers from evil snakes/dogs/ferrets etc. Once thou managest to forget how godammed dreadful the attempts at Olden Days Speech are, thou hast quite a tense and rollicking adventure UNTIL he finds the lady. And then the remainder of the book is nothing more and nothing less than a potted guide to Victorian style attitudes towards women which stick out like a sore thumb in a book which is supposed to be set in a future far beyond imagining. A ludicrous story is made even more ludicrous by lines such as (paraphrasing here) “and thus she wast a naughty Wench and I did bide her in mine body which hast been made strong by my journeys” ect ect.

Amazon link. NB WHH is also published in a selection of GOTHIC FICTION huzzah huzzah so don’t say I didn’t wARRn you. Yar!