The Caribbean during the first two decades of the 18th century, was a paradise of pirates. These decayed noblemen, soldiers without pay and sailors too proud for discipline, were men of a bolder type than the commercial butchers who later brought such discredit on the name, and their adventures were more fantastic and more terrible.
The gentlemen of fortune gathered on the Isle of Providence, "by whose wenches, infernal vegetation and white sun which nourished incurable diseases, they were forced into a path where their imaginations could be exercised freely." In the grog-shops and bordellos of this island they laid the plans for a pirate empire.
Among the more famous of their vessels was the Morning Star. Pierre Mac Olan, in relating the history of this brig of 32 guns, has manned it with a different crew and expanded its adventures with the aid of rare manuscripts and an imagination rarer still, but he has remained faithful to the spirit of the original.
This novel is not a pirate-book for children! "It is written for sophisticated people who are capable of enjoying the grotesque, cruel and supernatural adventures of George Merry and his crew, and can be charmed by the free exercise of the imagination, the terror of the sea and the pleasant sound of good prose.
(Original French edition: A Bord de l'Etoile Matutine, 1920)
Author: Pierre Mac Orlan translated into English by Malcolm Cowley
Title: On Board the Morning Star
First Published by: Albert & Charles Boni