Blackbeard's anchor hauled up off US coast
An anchor from what is supposed to be the wreck of Blackbeard's flagship has been retrieved off the coast of North Carolina.
Weighing in at over 2,000 pounds, it is about the largest relic yet of his ship, Queen Anne's Revenge.
The ship sank in 1718, about five months after Blackbeard was despatched by British tars.
And why mention this on a blog devoted to words?
At last counting, more than fifty books have been devoted to the story of this flamboyant buccaneer, some of them written for children, others quite serious, and a lot of them just for fun.
According to the story told in 1724 by his original narrator, Captain Johnson (who may or may not have been Daniel Defoe), in A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pirates, Blackbeard -- real name, Edward Teach -- was a ladies' man. So gallant was he, that he refused to be served by tavern wenches, gallantly waiting on the girls himself.
Then, at the end of an evening's roistering, he would pick out the prettiest and take her back to his ship, where the mate would "marry them," and the "honeymoon" would commence.
Once he had finished with the girl, he would hand her over to his men -- or so Johnson/Defoe claimed. Kinder chroniclers aver that to be known as Blackbeard's wife meant a lot of prestige in certain circles of the Caribbean.
Who knows? They were rough times, back then, and no one asked the women for their opinions.