Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace


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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Guest Author Tara Kingston on Privateers Throughout History

Today on History Undressed, I'd like to welcome fellow Ellora's Cave author and friend, Tara Kingston. This month sees Tara's debut release and it is fantastic!  Hot, intruiguing and filled with adventure. Tara's written an article giving us a bit of history on privateers!

Privateers Throughout History
by Tara Kingston

Eye patches, earrings, and walking the plank…these images fill our thoughts when we hear the word pirate. I suspect the word privateer does not garner nearly the same reaction. Authorized by a government to attack enemy ships, privateers have served a purpose in warfare in addition to seizing cargo and vessels for profit. By disrupting trade and commandeering ships into military service, privateers aided their government while filling their own coffers.

Unlike a military ship that aimed to sink an enemy vessel, a privateer aimed to capture vessels and plunder their cargos. Privateers proved to be a significant force in naval warfare during the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries. Though not formally commissioned as warships, privateers sailed under the authorization granted in a letter of marque, a formal contract between the government and the privateer. A letter of marquee provided formal authorization for the privateer’s activities, spelling out the nationalities of ships the privateer was allowed to attack and the territory in which it could operate while ensuring the government would retain a share of the plundered goods.

Throughout history, privateers have made their mark. Privateers such as Sir Francis Drake and Sir John Hawkins aided Britain’s quest for naval superiority against the Spanish Armada in the sixteenth century, becoming national heroes in the process. Two centuries later, American privateers played a significant role in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and even the Civil War. In one famous incident, notorious privateer Jean Lafitte led his crew to help General Andrew Jackson defend New Orleans against the British Navy during the Battle of New Orleans in the latter days of the War of 1812.

My Ellora’s Cave debut, Claimed by the Captain, is the story of an American privateer bent on revenge against the swindler who destroyed his family and the woman who’s swept up in his quest for vengeance. Here’s a little about the story:

Jason Kane lost everything to one man’s treachery. Thirsting for vengeance, the ruthless privateer abducts Catherine Farrell, daughter of the swindler who destroyed his family. Intending to extract the debt owed him from his tempting prisoner, he plans a cold-blooded conquest. Aroused by his captive’s sensual beauty, he claims her with seductive persuasion. As he plunges her into a world of pleasure, her passionate surrender sparks a deep longing in his heart and soul.

Catherine Farrell lived the sheltered life of a prosperous merchant’s daughter until Captain Jason Kane made her a pawn in his quest for retribution. Claimed by the captain, she finds herself at the mercy of a man who will settle for nothing less than complete domination. His tender mastery awakens Catherine’s passions and stirs her heart. If only she can convince him that love is far more satisfying than sweet revenge.

You can find more information about the story at my website, http://www.tarakingston.com/ or at the Ellora’s Cave site. Hope you’ll stop by.

Leave a comment about this post and you’ll be entered to win a free e-copy of Claimed by the Captain. The winner will be announced next Monday, June 20.


Tara said...

Thanks for having me as a guest, Eliza. I'll pop by later to respond to comments :)


Anonymous said...

Congrats on the new release, Tara! When I think of pirates, Johnny Depp of course is the first thing that pops to my mind. And that man is HOT! Something about the 'no rules' that pirates in general have about life, make them out to be bad boys. Sounds like an incredible read. It's definitely been put on my TBR and jumped a few spaces ahead! #:0). Is this your first book? Or just your first with EC?


Sharon Buchbinder, Romance Author said...

Wow! In High School American History the teacher tended to gloss over some characters I would have liked to know more about. Perhaps we can suggest CLAIMED BY THE CAPTAIN be added to the curriculum? That would keep the darlings awake! ;)



Keena Kincaid said...

Thanks for the interesting post. One question: Did the enemy authorities consider the privateer a pirate or did they recognize the distinction, too?

Eliza Knight said...

You're welcome Tara! Anytime :)

LOL Sharon! Wouldn't that be fun?

Love Johnny Depp....

Tara said...


This is my first story with EC, but not my first book. Actually, I've published two historical romances set during the Civil War. Love the novella format!

Tara said...


Forgot to mention...Johnny Depp is also my favorite on-screen pirate...something about Captain Jack Sparrow...

Tara said...


My understanding is that generally, enemies treated privateers as enemy combatants, and even treated captured crew members as prisoners of war.

Tara said...


It would certainly get their attention ; )

Eliza Knight said...

Congrats to our winner! Elece! Please contact me via email for your prize :)