It is always a pleasure to read a book that explores history you are not aware of. Whilst it seems the legend of the pirate William 'Bully' Hayes is well known in the Pacific region due to the interest in his exploits amongst the popular press, he is not known in Europe.
Though he is popularly known as a pirate, his activities seem to fall a long way short of those amongst his Atlantic counterparts such as Edward "Blackbeard" Teach. What becomes clear from Druett's well researched narrative is that he may have been a confidence trickster, swindler and 'blackbirder' who left a string of debts behind him but he did not lead a muderous gang of cutthroats.
He seems to have been a charismatic individual who was actually liked by many who met him casually though he was harsh with his crew and obviously unpopular with those who supplied his ship only to see him sail away with their bills unpaid.
He must be considerd lucky as he survived a number of shipwrecks and largely managed to avoid the authorities, even with a number of Royal Navy vessels looking for him at times.
On this side of the Atlantic it was an interesting read to learn his history and if you are already aware of him this book will sort out the facts from the myths and rumours that circulated in the press of the period and still form part of his legend today. Recommended
Author: Joan Druett