Queens of the Sea #10: Striped Shirt and Vest for Mary Read

Click for larger version (PNG); click for PDF version. Click here for the list of dolls.

Welcome to day ten of the Queens of the Sea series, part of the Random Magic Pirates book tour! Here is the mini-bio for today’s pirate, provided again by Lyrika:

Mary Read: The Last Woman Standing

Mary Read was an English pirate and contemporary of pirate Anne Bonny. She’d spent her early days as a soldier and innkeeper, and her character was marked by bravery and resoluteness, as this snippet of a story from her short but tumultuous life illustrates:

An occurrence soon happened that put the attachment of Mary to a severe trial. Her lover having quarrelled with one of the crew, they agreed to fight a duel on shore.

Mary was all anxiety for the fate of her lover, and she manifested a greater concern for the preservation of his life than that of her own; but she could not entertain the idea that he could refuse to fight, and so be esteemed a coward.

Accordingly she quarrelled with the man who challenged her lover, and called him to the field two hours before his appointment with her lover, engaged him with sword and pistol, and laid him dead at her feet. (From: The Pirates Own Book (1837), by Charles Ellms)

She was one of only three people standing to defend the ship she sailed on when Captain Jonathan Barnet’s crew attacked in an October 1720 battle. Mary Read, Anne Bonny and an unnamed seaman fought off the pirate hunters, while the rest of the crew remained in the hold.

The battle ended in the capture of the ship, Revenge, and all her crew; Mary and Anne were both imprisoned and Anne’s lover, Jack ‘Calico Jack’ Rackham was hanged. Anne vanished from historical records and her final fate is a mystery, but Mary died of a fever.

I like the contrast here between her tattered striped shirt and that spiffy black and silver vest – the intended implication is that the vest is, shall we say, a new acquisition.

Take my poll and let’s choose the Queens of the Queens of the Sea! They’ll both expire on the 28th, but I’m not sure when, so if they’re not closed by noon PST on the 28th, that’s when I’ll pick the winners.

The contests will be open until May 27th, 11:59 PM Pacific time. So if you haven’t entered, today and tomorrow are your last chance! Click here for the chance to win an original drawing, for those of you who can give me an address if you win, and click here for the chance to design a pirate outfit, open to everyone!

Check out the tour schedule here! And for more information about Random Magic, here’s the trailer for the book.

Also, check out the Rum + Plunder treasure hunt for more pirate prizes!

13 thoughts on “Queens of the Sea #10: Striped Shirt and Vest for Mary Read

  1. I adore Mary Read. Mary, Anne Bonny, and Grace O’Malley are my favorite pirates, and you did all three!

  2. I liked Awilda’s outfit best, and Lai Choi San’s story. Lai Choi just seems extra awesome to me cause she came from a culture that was even more rigid about female roles than Europe’s was. The only thing that could top her would be a female Arab pirate!

  3. Sara, check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sayyida_al_Hurra
    Lyrika sent me a list of pirates and short bios to go up each day; one of the days had both her and the “unnamed pirate captain,” for me to choose. I wanted to draw her, but I was actually going to go out of town very soon, and I ended up doing the other one just because I would have to do zero research for her ^^;;

  4. Liana, now that you’ve brought her up, I think you should do an outfit for Sayyida al Hurra when you have time for the research :P

  5. I like Awilda’s outfit and story best. I like the idea that arranged marriages can work out and you can learn/grow to love people you didn’t initially love.

  6. oops, posted the previous on the wrong post. as for mary’s outfit, love the vest. too bad about the coward connection with her.

  7. I do love her vest pattern – that with the sash gives Mary a classy look!

    Strange that she thought her lover might call off the duel, but pretty cool (and scary!) that she fought in his stead!

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