Over the course of my MRes, I have written a novel in the genre of historical fiction, titled A Port for Thieves. It is set within the city of Port Royal, Jamaica in the
year 1688, and it explores the historical context of the Golden Age of piracy.
The key research aim of this novel is to illuminate and deconstruct the genre of pirate fiction, and the romantic tropes that surround it. By blending fiction with
historical authenticity, I offer an alternative to the glamourisation of piracy that is seen in other works throughout the genre. By utilising graphic yet grounded writing techniques, the project aims to capture the reality of violent frontier anarchy, whilst abstaining from the sanitised storytelling that is pervasive in the generally familyfriendly genre of pirate fiction.
One of the fundamental writing techniques that I have used in this project is a subjective third person point of view (POV) for multiple different characters, who
represent not only the disunited factions among the pirates, but also their victims, their enemies, their allies, and their subjects. The impact, that these multiple POV characters have, is that they are able to inject a degree of richness and diversity into a genre that has, for the most part, been fairly one dimensional and formulaic.
With the project now in completion, it is clear that there remains a vast scope for creative originality within the genre of historical pirate fiction. This potential for new narratives far exceeds the relatively clichéd pirate stories that built the genre in the Nineteenth Century. Throughout the writing of this project, I have found that there is an incredible richness in the genre, and immense potential to continue telling stories that are familiar to pirate aficionados, but also innovative in bringing the genre to the 21st Century, and in infusing fiction with historical authenticity.