The Pirate’s Wife: The Remarkable True Story of Sarah Kidd

Hanover Square. Nov. 2022. 288p. ISBN 9781335429841. $27.99. HIST
In her previous book, Geanacopoulos (The Pirate Next Door) looked at the family lives of four American pirates, including Captain William Kidd. She continues that theme in this book with a deep dive into the life of his wife, Sarah Kidd (1670–1744). Born Sarah Bradley, she had already established herself in New York as a socialite and enterprising merchant before she met William. He was her third husband, a well-known war hero, and wealthy. He was later charged with murder and piracy, and she fought to clear his name and obtain a pardon for him. These efforts proved futile, but it is believed that she kept the secret of where he’d buried his greatest treasure, taking it with her to the grave. Geanacopoulos dispels many of the myths surrounding piracy, showing that it was often seen as an essential service to circumvent economically crippling taxes imposed by the English monarchy on their American colonies.
VERDICT Engaging and well-paced. While geared toward a general audience, this work is well-grounded in scholarly research and will likely appeal to many: the armchair historian and those with an interest in the golden age of piracy, colonial New York, and social and women’s histories.
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