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Click on the Kirkus logo to read a review of The Black Corsair.
Click on the Thistles and Pirates logo to read a review of The Black Corsair by 'The Pirate Lady': writer/editor Cindy Vallar.
Emilio Salgari
Jules Verne
The Black Corsair
  Emilio Salgari’s masterpiece, a swashbuckling revenge novel set in the Caribbean; one of the world’s first pirate classics. An Italian nobleman turns pirate to avenge the murder of his brothers. His foe: an old Flemish army officer named Van Guld, now the Governor of Maracaibo. The Corsair is relentless, vowing never to rest until he has killed the traitor and all those that bear his name. To help him in his quest, the Black Corsair enlists the greatest pirates of his time: L'Ollonais, Michael the Basque, and a young Welshman named Henry Morgan...
The Black Corsair: Salgari's Somber Hero.
"For a century the larger than life Black Corsair has retained his status as admirable, pitiable, mythicized, tragic, Romantic hero extraordinaire, the symbol of valour, the symbol of honour." ~Decadence for Kids: Il Corsaro Nero in Context , Ann Lawson Lucas
The Black Corsair first appeared in serial form in 1898, and was published as Il corsaro nero in 1899. It sold 80,000 copies in its first run, a record for the era. It was subsequently translated into Spanish as El corsario negro and is considered a classic in both languages.
The novel was so popular it generated a number of sequels. It first made the jump to the silver screen in the 1920s in a series of silent films directed by Vitale Di Stefano. With the advent of sound came Il Corsaro Nero in 1936 starring Olympic fencing champion Cirro Verratti. The story has been retold several times, on both sides of the Atlanic, the first Spanish version being filmed in Mexico in 1944 by director Chano Urueta. After his worldwide success as Sandokan, Kabir Bedi took a turn at playing the Lord of Ventimiglia in Sergio Solima's 1977 version of Il corsaro nero. The Black Corsair returned to television in the 1990s as an animated series created by Italian animation house Mondo TV. A video game version of the adventure is also available.
Salgari's Caribbean tales inspired a series of spaghetti swashbucklers including Primo Zeglio's Morgan: The Pirate starring Steve Reeves, Mario Soldati's The Three Corsairs with Marc Lawrence and Luigi Capuano's Hercules and The Black Pirates starring Alan Steel.
Watch the original trailer for Il corsaro nero on Youtube
Excerpt from Kirkus Reviews
A high-seas tale of plucky buccaneers, savage Spanish colonialism and the most fearsome captain of the Caribbean, translated into English. It’s easy to see why this novel has captured imaginations for more than 100 years, as it’s a perfect example of escapist pleasure for both children and adults. A true page-turner and classic adventure story, Salgari’s tale of exotica is a welcome diversion.
Excerpt from review by Cindy Vallar, Thistles and Pirates
The Black Corsair, first published in 1898, is an exciting tale of swashbuckling intrigue and honor. The lush tropics with its beautiful, yet deadly, flora and fauna come to life as the Black Corsair and his men face danger and quandaries not easily solved. Fans of Rafael Sabatini and Captain Blood or his other swashbucklers will enjoy finding another author who writes in a similar vain. Readers who like heroes who are bigger than life and have dark sides will soon find themselves fans of Emilio Salgari’s works.
Review by Willis M. Buhle, Midwest Book Review
Vengeance is greater than any title of nobility. "The Black Corsair" is a reprinting of Emilio Salgari's swashbuckling masterpiece, following an Italian nobleman who tosses aside his title to turn to piracy in order to spite the man who murder his brothers. Aligned with the greatest pirates of his era, he seeks out to make his revenge a reality, for an utterly fun and fast paced adventure that stands the test of time. "The Black Corsair" is a fine pick, very much recommended for any fan of swashbuckling and classic fiction.
Excerpt from review at Vintage Pop Fiction
Non-stop action on land and sea. Salgari doesn’t let the pace falter for an instant. It’s pretty much a must-read if you’re a fan of swashbuckling adventure in general or pirates in particular.
Paperback | 272 pages | ISBN 978-0978270780 Published 15 Sep 2011
Banner Image: Huu Tai, 2015
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