In this lively debut work of history, Edward Kritzler tells the tale of an unlikely group of swashbuckling Jews who ransacked the high seas in the aftermath of the Spanish Inquisition. At the end of the fifteenth century, many Jews had to flee Spain and Portugal. The most adventurous among them took to the seas as freewheeling outlaws. In ships bearing names such as the Prophet Samuel, Queen Esther, and Shield of Abraham, they attacked and plundered the Spanish fleet while forming alliances with other European powers to ensure the safety of Jews living in hiding. Filled with high-sea adventures–including encounters with Captain Morgan and other legendary pirates– Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean reveals a hidden chapter in Jewish history as well as the cruelty, terror, and greed that flourished during the Age of Discovery.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean|
|Release Date: 11-18-2008|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
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Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean
COLUMBUS AND JAMAICA'S
May 1504, Santa Gloria, Jamaica: For nearly a year, Columbus had been stranded in Jamaica with a hoard of gold, a mutinous crew, and a few dozen teenage loyalists, some of whom were secret Jews. Alone, melancholy, and confined to his cabin by gout, the great explorer wrote his patron Queen Isabella a despairing letter. He feared that even if he defeated the mutineers, the governor of Santo Domingo, who had promised to send a rescue ship, wanted him dead.
So much had happened since he had been making the rounds of Europe, a would-be explorer going from king to king seeking royal backing for a promised quick passage west across the Ocean Sea to India and the wealth of the East. In 1486, at his first meeting with Spain's royal couple, King Ferdinand, although intrigued by the plan, told Columbus the time was not opportune. They were in the midst of a war and could not seriously consider such an important matter until peace was restored. In parting, Queen Isabella counseled patience and awarded Columbus a retainer, promising they would meet again when the war was over.
On January 12, 1492, Columbus entered the royal quarters. He had been summoned a few days after Spain's final victory over the Moors at Granada, and the queen had sent him money to buy new clothes and a mule to ride. Encouraged by her gift, Columbus was confident. He had honed his proposal into a detailed presentation, with maps and charts from the Jewish astronomer Abraham Zacuto, and quotes from the Bible and Greek sages supporting his view that the world was round, the oceans not large, and Japan lay three thousand miles to the west, across th