This exciting scholarly work examines Dutch maritime violence in the seventeenth century. The young Dutch Republic enjoyed a cultural and economic preeminence, and many of its seamen also took up pillaging, terrorizing their victims on the high seas and on European waterways. A story almost entirely untold until now, Piracy and Privateering in the Golden Age Netherlands presents new data and understandings of early modern piracy generally, and also sheds important new light on Dutch and European history as well, such as the history of national identity and state formation, and the history of crime and criminality.
We tend to think of pirates as being either British (Blackbeard) or French (Lafitte). It turns out thought that the Dutch, who were building an overseas empire that would rival that of the British also issued letters of marque (Dutch - commissie van retorsie) that gave their ships the right to act as privateers to attack the ships of eneny countries. And as was the custom with the British and French privateers, some of them found that their weren't enough enemy ships so they broadened their range to become outright pirates.
In this book, Virginia Lunsford, a professor of history at the United States Naval Acadamy describes the story of Dutch piracy and privateering in an excellent bit of original research.