Introduction to the Random Magic Pirates Book Tour and Queens of the Sea #1: 1300s Outfit for Jeanne de Clisson

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

So for the rest month, I’m doing something a little different… A while ago, I was asked to join in an online “book tour” highlighting the book Random Magic that would be centered around a pirate theme. The idea is that multiple blogs would all do something interesting and pirate-related as part of the tour, and although I’ve never done something like this before, it sounded like it would be fun to try. Check out the organizer’s blog to see the schedule and get an idea for the kinds of events that will be taking place!

Each day’s outfit is going to be based around a pirate (nine historical pirates and one character from Random Magic); I don’t intend to give much more than a passing nod towards any sort of historical accuracy, so although most of these women were real historical figures, the outfits are going to be a little on the fantastic side — more like costumes.

Today’s pirate is Jeanne de Clisson, who lived from 1300–1359 and was an active pirate between 1343 to 1356. Here is a mini-biography about her, written by Lyrika:

The Avenging Angel

One of the most bloodthirsty female pirates in history. Jeanne de
Clisson, nicknamed the Lioness of Brittany, was driven to piracy by a
desire for revenge, after her partner was executed.

She sold off all that remained of her estate to raise enough money to
buy three warships, had all three ships painted black, and the sails
dyed blood red. Her Black Fleet was the terror of the English Channel (an arm of the Atlantic Ocean), but one
personal proviso was enough to save hundreds of seafarers.

The proviso was this: The Lioness held the French king accountable for
the death of her beloved Olivier, so she spared the ships and crews of
other nations she met on her way — she only attacked French ships.

You can read a more in-depth biography about her at the blog Fluidity of Time, as part of the “Pirate Queens” series!

I had fun thinking about what she might wear, as this is a good couple of hundred years before the age most connected with pirates in the popular imagination. Women’s clothes in the early 14th century were rather pretty, I found, but rather less than practical for life at sea, or for personally beheading captured aristocrats. She apparently didn’t disguise herself as a man the way some other women pirates did, but I like to think she went with men’s clothes anyway, so today’s outfit is loosely based on men’s clothes from the first half of the 14th century.

I’ll be changing my regular schedule a bit during the tour: I’ll be posting a new drawing on the 12th and 14th, a drawing each day from the 16th to the 20th, and two final drawings on the 23rd and 24th. There will be a poll to determine everyone’s favorite pirate outfit that will be open on the 26th and the 27th, and on the 28th I’ll draw an extra outfit for the winning pirate and also announce the two winners of the contests I’ll be holding during the tour.

That’s right, two contests! For one, the prize is the original drawing of any one of the ten pirate outfits, and since that one requires an address, it’s open to anyone who is able to provide me their address if they win. Because I know I have a lot of readers who can’t give out their address online, I’m running a second contest that’s open to everyone, where the winner gets to design a pirate outfit! Click here for more information about the first contest; click here for more information about the second contest.

Welcome to anyone who’s joining us for the tour, and for my regular readers, I hope you enjoy it too! I personally am looking forward to a lot of buckles being swashed — and maybe little parrots perching on shoulders of dramatic coats…

Don’t forget: 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! (I like the look of that pirate puppet, myself…) Speaking of that contest…